Shoplifters and other criminals are once again finding extra security in place in East Montgomery County this holiday shopping season. The East Montgomery County Improvement District and the Montgomery County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office teamed up for a fifth year for the Safe Shopper Program, in which EMCID provides $50,000 to cover the cost of additional patrols at high traffic shopping areas.
This year’s program began October 15 and will continue through January 31, 2017, which is two weeks longer than the programs for the previous two years. Patrols also extended to the Valley Ranch Town Center to cover the traffic at Academy Sports + Outdoors and expected activity at Sam’s Club once it opens in the new year.
Last year, deputies arrested 42 shoplifters, 40 people on misdemeanor charges and 46 people for felonies over a 93-day period which began October 15, 2015 and ended January 15, 2016. In the first year of the program, over a 29-day period in 2012, deputies arrested 26 shoplifters, 36 people on misdemeanors and 12 people for felonies. When averaged out over a similar time period, that equals a 42 percent decrease in overall arrests.
“Fewer arrests in this program mean there are fewer crimes being committed,” said Frank McCrady, EMCID President and CEO. “We’re very pleased with the results of the Safe Shopper Program, and we’ll continue to support it if it means we’ve got a safer place to shop, dine and raise a family.”