North Carolina Newspapers is powered by Chronam.
6The Daily Tar Heel Wednesday, November 5, 1986
New law gives shoplifters
pause, area merchants say
ilatf his eiwrn
By LEE ANN NECESSARY
Area businessmen are still unsure
about the effects of a law enacted
last month that stresses mandatory
punishment for shoplifting.
While all agreed that any law
which tries to deter shoplifting is an
improvement, some still wondered
whether the laws are strict enough
to decrease shoplifting in this area.
The law, which went into effect
Oct. 1, states that first offenders must
do 24 hours of community service,
second offenders must perform 72
hours of community service or serve
a jail sentence; third offenders must
serve a mandatory 14-day jail
In a recent press conference at
University Mall, William C. Rustin
Jr., president of the North Carolina
Retail Merchants Association, said
that N.C. businesses lose about $500
million a year shoplifting.
The new law aims at saving both
consumers and merchants the costs
of shoplifting by detering the crime.
According to Bobby Leesnitzer,
manager of Fowler's food store, the
penalty for third offenders may have
some effect on shoplifting, but the
law is still not strict enough to have
a big effect on shoplifting in his store.
Leesnitzer said shoplifting is
common at Fowler's. He said sho
plifters are sometimes professionals,
stealing higher-valued goods such as
beef and cartons of cigarettes.
"To deter criminals of this kind,
the laws will have to be harsher,"
Leesnitzer said a law proposed in
October 1985, concerning warrant
less arrests may have had more
impact. If the law had passed, it
would have allowed policemen to
arrest a shoplifter on the scene of
the crime. The store manager would
not have to file a warrant, as required
by the present law.
"This type of law would have
saved the merchant the time and
money of trying to get a shoplifter
convicted of a crime," Leesnitzer
At Top of the Hill, shoplifting is
not as common or as severe, accord
ing to manager Bill Hardy. There,
the new laws will probably be quite
effective, he said.
"Only on very busy weekends or
during special celebrations do we see
much shoplifting," Hardy said, "and
then it's usually students or kids just
For larger grocery stores the laws
are "somewhat mild, but beneficial,"
said Vern Brown, a co-manager at
"Even though the law may be mild
and not very effective on the pro
fessionals, it is discouraging minor
shoplifting," Brown said. "In that
aspect the law is helping the mar
ketplace and saving a loss to both
the merchants and the consumers."
Merchants agree that they will be
better off financially because of the
new law. Bob Simpson, owner of
Town & Campus clothing store on
East Franklin Street, said, "The
major positive aspect of the new law
is that when a store owner prosecutes
a shoplifter, at least he knows there
will be a punishment, which is a
distinct change from the past.
"This law will definitely help the
store owners and managers prose
cute shoplifters at least they wont
feel they are wasting their time and
efforts," Simpson said.
Simpson explained that in the
past, if store owners wanted to
prosecute shoplifters, they had to
appear in district court in Hillsbo
rough and pay for a lawyer.
"Then once the court proceedings
were over, the first offender usually
got off with no punishment, and the
second offender maybe, got a $25
fine," he said.
"The merchants are very cooper
ative and concerned about the new
law because they realize how much
shoplifting costs the consumer," said
H.P. Smith, a security officer at
Smith said that shoplifting hasn't
changed since the law went into
effect, but that it may be too early
to tell the law's result.
Response to the law at South
Square Mall has been much the
same, according to Thomas Joyner;
chief of security for the mall.
Joyner, who also directs different
seminars and lectures on shoplifting
for the mall merchants, said, "The
laws could be a great deal stricter,
but the good aspect is the fact that
rvnoi ik in.
I am n rnwNFrTinw rni ipnwci
GOLD CONNECTION COUPONS!
They're in the new campus phone books.
JUST GOT EVEN MORE AFFORDABLE.
128E. Franklin St. 967-7393
Come see the Village's
3 bedroom apartments,
ASK US ABOUT OUR
Smith Level Road
Wednesday Night Live
TONIGHT 9:30 pm
Jeff Campbell & Carter Minor
the punishment is dealing with
community service hours, which
makes the shoplifter put back into
the area what he was costing it
Joyner said that sometimes in the
past, shoplifters given fines often
would resort back to shoplifting to
pay off those fines.
"The laws may need to be stricter,"
Joyner said, "but I believe weVe lost
a small amount of shoplifters due
to the fact that they are somewhat
scared by the new law. That is a help
Playing Motown and Blues
No Cover Must be 2 1 or older
NEXT WEEK Heartwood Revisited
peach fuzz J , D.
. $2.25 Tuesday
Coors Bottles $1.00 Premium Draft
,,,,,1 .,i. iZ,.....':"".!..! Beer Night
SOt off glasses
. 75$ off pints IT
SI .00 off pitchers )
Cool off with a
Import Draft Night
50$ off glasses
75$ off pints
$1.00 off pitchers
Avoid the lottery blues. Apply now!
All apartments on the bus line to
UNC. Call today for full information
967-2231 or 967-2234. In North
Carolina call toll-free 1-800-672-
1 678. Nationwide, call toll-
Equal Opportunity Housing
The Apartment People
Wednesday, Nov. 1 2
Union Box Office
962-1449 12-6 p.m.
An Inmisiion To Com fori
3Ir j p . ..vifai- kti&& "frtft F-r- ii" II i ir i V
Hyp 'fe - Ii !: i i :;. . : r r--
P-BW!-; 1 I'1! i : Ik? .,
' - ji mm urn m., l i mmW-. ' m M. i . . J m W mv 1 II. 1 I
u urns wmm Mwmmiw? ajh i
1' t: r?r .... . rJK
The Place to be at UNC
Enjoy air conditioning, carpet and weekly Granville Towers
maid service and make your college life easier.
Apply Now For Spring Accommodations