Shoplifting on the rise this holiday season - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Shoplifting on the rise this holiday season

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SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Police are looking for this man who they say fulfilled his holiday wish list by taking what he wanted - and going on his merry way without paying.

The surveillance video shows the suspect stealing expensive headphones from the Barnes & Noble in South Burlington.

Sue Hallock of Barnes and Noble says, "We had seen him in the music department the day before, basically we found out he was scoping us out, checking out our merchandise."

Hallock says she believes he returned to swipe the items.

Hallock says, "He came in again, when the department was very busy and grabbed two Dr. Dre Beats headphones and took off out the department."

Several weeks later, the thief struck again-- targeting the same merchandise.

"We were missing some again, nobody even saw them, checked CCTV and he was in and out of the department in less than 11 seconds," Hallock says.

The South Burlington Police Department says retail thefts are common, but this time of year brings out even more crime. Police are increasing patrols at the University Mall and surrounding areas.

Sgt. Gregg Jager says, "There's an added spike around the holiday seasons for various reasons."

The most recent annual report from the Vermont Department of Public safety says total property loss due to theft was $21 million in the state

Law enforcement officials say when it comes to what thieves will take, they don't discriminate.

Sgt. Gregg Jager says, "Anything, anything really that they can get their hands on...groceries from electronics to clothing."

The South Burlington Police Department say they are looking for a male suspect in his 20s regarding the Barnes and Noble robbery. The thief made out with approximately $800 worth of merchandise, just below the $900 mark, which in Vermont constitutes a felony.

Store employees say they are beefing up security measures.

Sue Hallock says, "The company is taking precautions, we thought we had too, but now we are going to the next level."

That means moving things around at the store to deter thieves.

Hallock says, "We relocated the display at this point, they are already secured with what we call spider wraps which is supposed to deter theft."

Thefts, that are on the rise this holiday season.

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