You would be wrong to believe that brazen shoplifting is only a thing in California. Earlier this week, actor Michael Rappaport posted a video on social media of what he experienced in a Rite-Aid in New York City. One person walked in with a bag, filled it up, and walked out with no one seeming to even acknowledge it. Rappaport’s video went viral quickly and you can watch it below (it includes some adult language).
Yesterday, NBC10’s Deanna Durante had a report on this type of crime occurring in Philadephia’s suburbs, including at the ULTA at the Metroplex in Plymouth Meeting where approximately $7,000 in merchandise was stolen in minutes on January 12th.
If you are a regular reader of MoreThanTheCurve.com, you will remember that prior to about 12 months ago, videos of retail theft, especially in Plymouth Meeting, popped up pretty regularly on the website. Thirteen months ago, the Plymouth Township Poice would have likely shared with the public information about this theft at ULTA.
Plymouth Township Police Department at the time utilized a website named CrimeWatch.net, plus YouTube.com and social media to publicize local crimes and ask the public’s help to identify suspects. As we mentioned, these types of notices from the department ended about a year ago.
In recent weeks, we have noticed a Chester-county-based news scraper posting about these types of crimes in Plymouth Township. We tried to figure out where the information was coming from (since the department wasn’t posting about it) and found that the CrimeWatch.net site was adding the information manually.
We then emailed Plymouth Township Chief of Police John Myrsiades and asked what drove the department to stop posting the notices as before. We didn’t know whether that type of crime had just become less prevalent or whether there was a policy involved.
The following day we received the following response from Patrol Lieutenant Brian Wagner.
I am in receipt of your email questioning a change in the manner in which crimes are reported to the public. As you are aware, Chief Myrsiades ordered a comprehensive review of Plymouth Township Police Department policies and procedures with the commencement of his administration in 2019. The Plymouth Township Police Department recently completed its review and implemented a new policy manual in conjunction with our partners at Lexipol and guidance from the Township Solicitor and the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office. This review included an evaluation of the dissemination of records, including records appropriate for public release.
The Plymouth Township Police Department is committed to the dissemination of public information. In furtherance of this commitment, the Plymouth Township Police Department is currently in the process of identifying relevant and appropriate department policy, including the dissemination of records, to be published for public review.
So when it comes to retail theft/burglaries, etc, (the types of crimes that the department had regularly shared information about), do you want to know about it and/or feel the public should be notified? Fill out the form below to let us know (it is anonymous).
Photo: Video surveillance from ULTA in Plymouth Meeting screengrabbed from NBC10’s video