CRIME Prevention Officer at the Ararat Police, Leading Senior Constable Eddy MacDonald has issued a warning to retailers to be proactive when it comes to protecting their stock from thieves.
LSC MacDonald said small and large retail businesses in our community play a vital role in supporting the local economy, providing employment and opportunities for public to shop for a specific product or simply enjoy the time browsing.
"In my earlier years, stealing from a shop was known as shoplifting," he said.
"In my role as a policeman I am more direct and if somebody deliberately takes something from a store without paying then it is theft.
"From my experience there are various types of these thieves - the opportunist, the organised and deliberate thief and those who steal to order."
LSC MacDonald is offering some basic tips for business owners to help prevent theft in their businesses.
He suggests having an open layout in your store with good visibility to all areas, shelving to just below shoulder height is ideal as are security mirrors and cameras, while good lighting is also important as is clear signage.
"Keep staff and stock rooms locked and never leave the cash register unlocked when unattended and approach people who stand around staff restricted areas," he said.
"Also, remove empty clothes hangers and excess stock from racks and shelves, lock valuable items in display cases near the service counter.
"Be mindful that shopping trolleys, bags and prams can be used to hide goods, as can bulky clothing, and vehicles and trailers in drive through venues."
Should the shop owner suspect a person of theft they should contact the police or provide information to crime stoppers on 1800 333 000 immediately.
If you require further information or would like to organise a business group presentation in the Wimmera or Northern Grampians area contact Crime Prevention Officer Eddy MacDonald at Ararat Police 5355 1500.