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“Every penny counts, so when somebody takes something and it’s not paid for that comes out of my pocket personally.”

The holiday season can put people in financially tight situations, leading to more shoplifting. But, stores have been seeing an increase in shoplifting all year.
Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 4:20 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Shoplifting is an issue in large box stores and, unfortunately, in small businesses.

According to a business.org survey, 89% of small business owners experience shoplifting, and Rapid City’s are no exception.

“The biggest item was like a bottle of wine walked out our door and I wasn’t here, I got a phone call and was, ‘Hey this was the situation, I’m really sorry, I don’t know what to do’ and basically again, I paid for it,” said Casey Vanvleck, owner of Vita Sana Olive Oil Company.

Vanvleck has been with the specialty grocery store for the past six years and recently became the new owner, with her experience, the store added shoplifting precautions.

“We actually, about a year ago now, put cameras in our store. We strategically placed items of ‘easy grab and walk out of the store’ items at a register so we can see those things,” said Vanvleck.

And many stores have the same kind of preventative measures, along with more staff during busy hours.

Based on that business.org survey, 54% of small businesses have experienced an increase in shoplifting this year.

“Every penny counts, so when somebody takes something and it’s not paid for that comes out of my pocket personally,” said Vanvleck.

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