Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Stores join forces on theft

BROOKSVILLE — Over and over, Keith Guyton would watch foiled shoplifters leave his Beall's department store and head to another shop in the same shopping plaza. And he was unable to do much about it.

"I had no way of contacting," the other stores, said Guyton, loss prevention group manager for Beall's in Pasco and Hernando. "We had nothing in place."

Guyton contacted several groups elsewhere that link retailers and law enforcement officials to find out how they operate. He then reached out to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

That led to the formation of Sheriff's Helping Retailers through Intelligence Networking and Crime Prevention (SHRINC), which met for the first time Monday, just as the busy holiday shopping season, and the attendant spike in shoplifting, gets into gear.

The meeting featured a presentation by Seminole County Sheriff's Office Investigator Christopher Ortiz, one of the co-founders of the Florida Retail Crime Enforcement Group (FORCE).

Ortiz showed FORCE's online trove of information, where members can share crime trends, distraction methods used by shoplifters and the identities of people who have been seen casing stores.

He also showed a surveillance video of a man who ransacked a closed Target store in Daytona Beach earlier this year. The man, who was suspected in several other burglaries in the area, tried to leave the store with a sackful of items only to be confronted at gunpoint by a deputy.

"We need to get this information out there,'' Ortiz said. "In the past, retailers really haven't shared much with each other."

David Gloetzner, a loss prevention manager at Kohl's on Spring Hill Drive, and Christopher Riddock, an assets protection leader at the nearby Target, said they were eager to get involved with the network. Over the past few months, Gloetzner and Riddock had already begun sharing information about crime trends at their respective stores.

"We can watch (shoplifters) go from our parking lot to theirs across the street," Riddock said. "That's the sort of thing we're trying to stop."

"We look at all the tools the criminal element has,'' Guyton said. "Well, we've got to have our own tools.''

Joel Anderson can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 754-6120.

Stores join forces on theft 12/07/09 [Last modified: Monday, December 7, 2009 9:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Mikhail Sergachev scores twice as Lightning shuts out Blue Jackets (w/ video)

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Mikhail Sergachev said he blacked out for a few seconds after his first NHL goal Thursday night, a rocket slap shot from the point.

    Mikhail Sergachev, front, looks like he’s very in the moment with teammate Dan Girardi after scoring his first NHL goal, though he says he blacked out for a bit. He scores again in the second.
  2. Dodgers rout Cubs 11-1 to win pennant, head to World Series for first time since '88


    CHICAGO — Enrique Hernandez put a Hollywood ending on an LA story three decades in the making.

    The Dodgers celebrate their Game 5 victory Thursday night over the Cubs at Wrigley Field, putting Los Angeles in the World Series for the first time since 1988.
  3. Another suspicious death in Tampa's Seminole Heights


    TAMPA — Police were investigating what they were calling a suspicious death in southeast Seminole Heights Thursday night, near the location of two fatal shootings last week.

    Interim Tampa police Chief Brian Dugan addresses reporters about the latest suspicious death in southeast Seminole Heights Thursday night. [JONATHAN CAPRIEL | Times]
  4. Duke tops preseason coaches' basketball poll; Gators No. 7


    Duke has been tabbed basketball's preseason No. 1 for the second straight season in the coaches' poll, released Thursday.

    Florida point guard Chris Chiozza launches the shot of last season’s NCAA Tournament, a winning 3
against Wisconsin that put the Gators into the Elite Eight. Chiozza returns to lead a UF team that’s getting its share of preseason attention, including a No. 7 ranking in the coaches’ poll.
  5. Richard Spencer speaks, and Gainesville emerges weary but at peace


    GAINESVILLE — Fists raised, a sea of defiant student protesters at the University of Florida relentlessly shouted down the white nationalist on stage. Richard Spencer paced, irritated, clinging to his chance to talk.

    Protesters scream at supporters of Richard Spencer after his speech at the Phillips Center at the University of Florida.  [Thursday October 19, 2017] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]