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Some California Retail Workers Wear Body Cameras to Deter Theft

Some California Retail Workers Wear Body Cameras to Deter Theft

Products are displayed in locked cabinets at a Walgreens store in San Francisco on Oct. 13, 2021. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

6/8/2024

Updated: 6/9/2024

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Employees at some TJ Maxx, Marshalls, or HomeGoods stores may be wearing body cameras to deter thieves, according to a recent earnings conference call by parent company TJX Companies.
TJX Chief Financial Officer John Klinger said security guards began wearing the cameras in stores nationwide late last year.
“When somebody comes in, it’s sort of … like a de-escalation where people are less likely to do something when they’re being videotaped,” he told Wall Street analysts during the May 22 call.
In a statement to the media, a TJX spokesperson said employees sporting the cameras have been thoroughly trained and that footage is shared with law enforcement only upon request.
“Body cameras are just one of the many ways that we work to support a safe store environment,” the spokesperson said.
After a drop during the early months of the pandemic, shoplifting in California has risen since late summer 2021, according to data from the Public Policy Institute of California, a nonpartisan research group. In Los Angeles, shoplifting climbed steadily and by late 2022, the latest data available, “it was 10 percent to 15 percent above pre-pandemic levels.”
Beyond shoplifting, law enforcement agencies in California have increased efforts to tackle organized retail crime in recent months, a growing issue for many cities.
With statewide efforts more than tripling the number of “proactive operations” targeting organized retail theft since 2022, arrests increased by 109 percent in the first 11 months of 2023 alone, according to an end of the year report by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, citing the most recent data.
Since January, the state’s Organized Retail Theft Prevention Grant program has provided $240 million to city and county police departments statewide to fight increasing crime.
The grant has helped California Highway Patrol’s organized retail crime task force conduct 185 investigations, arrest 474 individuals, and recover more than 160,000 stolen items worth $4.2 million, according to officials.
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Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

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Rudy Blalock is a Southern California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times. Originally from Michigan, he moved to California in 2017, and the sunshine and ocean have kept him here since. In his free time, he may be found underwater scuba diving, on top of a mountain hiking or snowboarding—or at home meditating, which helps fuel his active lifestyle.

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