Shoplifters find new way to steal items undetected - KCTV5 News

Shoplifters find new way to steal items undetected

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New technology is forcing criminals to come up with ways to make a clean getaway, and police want crooks to know they are onto one of the techniques. 

Overland Park Police Department detective Richard Breshears said shoplifters are using what's called a ‘booster bag' to make it past electronic security systems inside stores. The bag is lined with a sensor blocking device, such as aluminum foil, to keep stolen items from setting off anti-theft sensors.

"Obviously it's not 100 percent just like anything else. We do catch criminals with these in their possession," Breshears said.

Police call it an evolving game and taking a proactive approach is what they are using to catch the ‘boosters' in the act.

"We rely heavily on the education that we give retail establishments and notice when somebody walks in with an empty bag into a merchandise store and as the walk through that bag starts expanding," the detective said. "Those are clues that we have given the retail stores."

Due to the numerous malls and shops in the area, Overland Park Police has a specific department for retail theft. Those detectives recently caught a ‘booster bag' theft. The officers were able to foil the crime when an undercover officer saw a suspect stuffing a bag with ‘sensor blocking material' before heading into a mall.

The officer alerted stores inside the mall and cameras caught the shoplifters in the act.

"And during that case we did use concealment and we were able to make an arrest on that case," said Breshears.

In Kansas, those using a bag with a sensor-blocking material to shoplift can be charged with a felony.

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