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Store owner wants shoplifters to know they're being watched

SmartShopper owner Leigh Follestad has caught several shoplifters at his store by sharing surveillance videos of suspects on Facebook.
November 11, 2014 - 2:28 PM

PENTICTON - A downtown shop owner has caught another two thieves robbing his store in the last week by posting surveillance footage on Facebook.

Leigh Follestad, owner of SmartShopper on Main Street, has been hit several times, but he wants them to know that if they’re going to steal from him, he will put their face online and they'll get caught.

“Hopefully people realize that if I have a video image of you, there’s people in town who know who you are,” he says.

Follestad has installed every type of anti-theft mechanism but says his current method of using social media to put a name to a face is working well and adds he will continue to post videos online of the people who steal from his store.

He created a Facebook group called "Penticton Shoplifters and Thieves EXPOSED" several months ago as a place for local shop owners and community members to share photos, videos and comments about stolen items and break-ins. The group is very active and members have helped owners like Follestad catch criminals.

Once he identifies the suspects, Follestad says he gives the shoplifters a chance to pay him back rather than be turned over to police. Last week he posted a video and within ten minutes the suspect was identified. He contacted the woman, she apologized and came into the store to pay him back for the items she took.

As for the man in the most recent video, Follestad has a name but has not been able to reach him. Police have been notified of the suspect and the surveillance video is still circulating on the internet.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Meaghan Archer at marcher@infotelnews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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