9OYS Crime Watch

Security officers strategize to curb shoplifting at Foothills Mall

CREATED Dec. 12, 2012

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Reporter: Stephani Ruiz

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Floods of shoppers are hitting Tucson-area malls this holiday season.

If they're looking for the five-finger discount, security is ready.

"They do the same thing that we're doing- we're looking around for people, they're looking around for us," Joshua Medlin, head of security at Foothills Mall, said.

Medlin said sometimes just making rounds can help stop thieves.

"We're trying to provide a presence, so you know, kind of a deterrent so people won't feel as comfortable about shoplifting," Medlin said.

Shoplifting is at its prime this time of year. Last month, Medlin said he saw nearly 15 cases.

"I had a female suspect that was in her 70s and we've had them as young as 8, 9 years old," Medlin said.

So a team of four is always on patrol, and sharing tips at security headquarters.

"If we're getting a lot of activity in a certain store, we usually put it on the board so we can actually keep an eye on the area," Medlin said.

Also keeping an eye? A new surveillance system rolled out just in time for the busy holiday season. Cameras are watching all over the place and security is ready to move.

"It definitely becomes serious whenever we get that call saying there's a shoplifter, you just don't know what's gonna happen," Medlin said.

And if shoplifters manage to make it to the parking lot with stolen goods, security is still watching you. The cameras can capture close-ups of cars, license plates, even faces.

A team is on the ground, ready to catch thieves in the act.

"Everytime there's a call that there's a shoplifter. Definitely. The pressure is on," Medlin said.