They're cracking down on shoplifters in Prince George's County. While there are no statistics available to indicate that the shoplifting problem is any more severe in Prince George's County than elsewhere. County Executive Winfield M. Kelly Jr. said, there is solid information that shoplifting in the metropolitan area amounts to losses of nearly $400 million annually.
Under the new crackdown, State's Attorney Arthur Marshall said his office would "recommend to the courts that anyone who is convicted of shoplifting, which was committed during the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, be incarcerated." In addition, he said, his office will do its best to make shoplifting a very personal and embarrassing crime. He said he would "publicly announce the names and addresses of all individuals, on a weekly basis" who are convicted and sentenced for shoplifting.
"We are unique in having all agencies in the criminal justice system cooperating with the Board of Trade and the Chamber of Commerce in an effort to prosecute all offenders," County Police Chief John W. Rhoads said. "There will be no exceptions," Rhoads promised. "If someone is caught shoplifting, he or she can count on being arrested . . . the police will be called and the shoplifter will be led away in handcuffs."