Odessa Retail Store Working Hard to Prevent Holiday Theft

By Sylvia Gonzalez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - With Christmas days away, store attendants will be busy making sure every customer is being taken care of.

With more people going to Target than normal, the retail giant is being extra careful by monitoring every aisle, making sure people don't leave the store with items they haven't paid for. Therefore, they have more security measures than you think.

"Some of the things first of all is training the team to look for suspicious activity, they're also trained at the front lanes. We put in rotating cameras to follow a subject and to make sure we don't lose sight of that person so we can get footage of them," Lisa Bennett, Manager at the Odessa Target, said.

Bennett says this time of year they see a hike in theft. They do have security within the store but they also have a external investigations unit.

"Their job is to focus on organized crime, typically it's people that are sent in here with a list of things to buy so they can re-sell them somewhere else," Bennett said.

Bennett says besides having your every day thief come in their store, during the holidays, they see a lot of "short change artists."

"They are coming in here with maybe with a $100 bill buying a coke and when the cashier gives them their change back they try to confuse the cashier. They look for maybe a new name badge. Unfortunately, sometimes they turn a $1 purchase on a little coke into convincing the cashier to give them back $4," Bennett said.

Bennett says many people that steal from their store think they got away with it without realizing that the retail giant is building a case against them.

"A certain subject that comes in here once a week and we know what time of the day they come in, so we keep a log of what that person is doing, what all they are stealing and they put together a case on them. They make plans as to when they are going to apprehend, them to make sure we get a bigger charge on them. Make sure they get a felony rather than a misdemeanor," Bennett said.

If you stole from Target in the past and plan on doing it again in the future, remember somebody is always watching your every move and they're building a case against you.