CCTV helps catch shop lifter

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - REXINE HAWES

Sho­plifters will have a hard time steal­ing from Life Phar­macy in Mata­mata thanks to a new high-tech CCTV sys­tem which has al­ready helped po­lice make an ar­rest.

Life Phar­macy Mata­mata owner Peter McSweeney is happy after the store’s CCTV in­vest­ment caught a crys­tal-clear im­age of a shoplifter, who re­peat­edly stole ex­pen­sive prod­ucts.

The im­age was passed on to po­lice who were able to use it to iden­tify and ap­pre­hend the thief.

‘‘We knew we were be­ing hit re­peat­edly, stock was just go­ing miss­ing,’’ says McSweeney.

’’Re­cently we in­vested in a state-of-the-art se­cu­rity sys­tem, we got ex­cel­lent footage.We rang the po­lice to say we had been hit sev­eral times by sho­plifters. The po­lice were ex­cel­lent, not only did they make the time to come see us, but they got the guy and ar­rested him.

‘‘It’s [theft] a huge prob­lem ev­ery­where and every­one pays for it. Sho­plifters need to un­der­stand they don’t just have a free ride, there are shops with ex­cel­lent se­cu­rity sys­tems. The footage these cam­eras get is ex­cel­lent.’’

McSweeney says the shoplifter re­peat­edly went after top-qual­ity per­fumes, los­ing the busi­ness hun­dreds of dol­lars in profit.

Mata­mata-Pi­ako preven­tion su­per­vi­sor Blair Hayde says this in­ci­dent goes to show the abil­ity of qual­ity CCTV.

‘‘They have very good qual­ity and well placed cam­eras at Life Phar­macy. This not only helps in ap­pre­hend­ing of­fend­ers but now will act as a de­ter­rent to this male and his as­so­ci­ates.’’

Hayde says a mem­ber of the com­mu­nity re­ported a sus­pi­cious man at a day­care cen­tre and a po­lice pa­trol was dispatched.

The man was new to the area and once de­tails were ob­tained, he was recog­nised as the per­son in the CCTV im­age from the phar­macy.

‘‘Tar­get hard­en­ing is a phrase well used in crime preven­tion,’’ says Hayde.

‘‘It works best when po­lice and the com­mu­nity work to­gether as dis­played in this case.

‘‘Three key ar­eas came into play, tar­get hard­en­ing by Life Phar­macy, an ac­tive com­mu­nity mem­ber who re­ported some­thing out of place and timely re­sponse by well in­formed po­lice.

‘‘We are hop­ing this will send a clear mes­sage to any­one who thinks they can come to our area and help them­selves, that it will be meet with a strong re­sponse from the com­mu­nity.’’

REXINE HAWES/FAIR­FAX NZ

Life Phar­macy Group owner Peter McSweeney, in­side the Mata­mata shop.

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