Thieves have been put on notice.
As part of a crackdown on offenders targeting Northern Tasmanian businesses, police have recovered more than $4500 worth of stolen property within the past three weeks.
Launching a shop stealing taskforce this month, northern police have searched multiple homes and charged at least 14 people over stolen property.
Twelve people were also issued banning notices, preventing them from entering particular stores.
In two major searches of Launceston homes, thousands of dollars of property was found, including children’s toys and clothing still in its original packaging.
The businesses being targeted not only include major chains, such as Kmart, Target, Woolworths and Coles, but also smaller, family-owned businesses.
No longer referring to it as shoplifting, Launceston acting Inspector Justin Bidgood said shop stealing was a priority for police in the Northern District, and the taskforce would only add to their existing efforts.
“It is not a victimless crime,” he said.
“Someone is losing money from their pocket.
“There is also the impact it has on staff who are confronted by offenders.”
As well as the taskforce, police will continue foot patrols throughout the central business district and shopping centres across the greater Launceston area.
Acting Inspector Bidgood said police would also continue to engage with local businesses, advising them on prevention strategies and encouraging both owners and staff to be vigilant and report any suspicious people or activity.
He said the message for thieves was simple – you will get caught.
Changes to the city’s CCTV system is expected shortly, which Acting Inspector Bidgood said would assist the taskforce greatly.
The digital upgrades were announced in April last year, with a $100,000 federal government grant matched by the City of Launceston to allow 25 existing cameras to be upgraded and 15 more to be installed in the CBD and at Kings Meadows.
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