Police Warn Shop Owners About Holiday Theft

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New Orleans Police have a word of warning that may help them prevent  them prevent shoplifting.

WGNO News Darian Trotter talked to one shop owner who’s learned the hard way.

The holiday season is a time for giving but it’s also a time when police nation-wide see a spike in burglary and theft reports.

Experts say thieves take advantage of more merchandise in stores, and larger crowds that make theft less noticeable.

“Made me so mad, made me so mad I couldn’t sleep for a few nights,” store owner Rania Khodr said.

At Mon Amie Gift & Kids Boutique owner Rania Khodr is recovering from theft.

Security camera footage of three women police say, walked into the store with empty handbags.

Investigators say, they boldly stuffed their bags full of outfits and once the bags were too full detectives say they began to stuff merchandise beneath the clothes they were wearing.

“Made me sick to my stomach,” Khodr said. “People work so hard to buy one little thing for their kids and they come here and barge in and take whatever they want and stacks and they leave.”

“We’re hoping that the public can help us identify those subjects.”

Detective Michael Flores says shop owners should stay on alert; especially smaller boutiques that unlike major retailers don’t hire extra security during the holiday season.

“if you’re a store clerk and you’re working by yourself be cognizant of who’s in your store be cognizant of somebody who may be trying to distract you.”

After being a victim of theft five times, Khodr purchased a high-tech security system and she wants neighboring shop owners to be on the lookout.

“I really want the people to see them, the world to see them to recognize them to recognize their face when they walk in so they don’t end up like me.”

Police patrols generally increase in high-traffic retail areas during the holidays.