Boston police are cracking down on increasingly desperate Yuletide shoplifters, deploying brand new recruits to retail meccas and putting cops in direct cell phone contact with the merchants most threatened by grab-and-go looters, reports the Boston Herald. “People are getting desperate,” Dan Caldas of True Religion jeans told cops yesterday, hours after someone cleaned out an entire shelf of high-end denim. “People have come in twice recently and just left with a pile.”
Boston shoplifting has climbed steadily in recent years, from 1,684 reported thefts in 2005 to 1,812 in 2007. The Retailers Association of Massachusetts is crafting a proposal to stiffen penalties for organized shoplifting rings. “Some people don't have the ability to pay and figure they'll take something for free,” said police Superintendent Daniel Linskey. “A lot of it is people who are drug-addicted and trying to turn (merchandise) over quickly for cash.” Linskey has deployed 37 newly graduated police recruits to the “holiday beat,” where they'll spend the rest of the year keeping a close watch on the high volume of shoppers.