Thursday, June 24, 2010
You really don't want to shoplift here!
FLUSHING, N.Y. (WPIX) - A Flushing supermarket has an unusual way of punishing shoplifters: forcing them to fork over their ID's, snapping photos of them with the loot they were trying to steal and threatening to display their pictures all over the store.
Security guards at A & N Food Market who catch the crooks in action also threaten to call the police -- but ultimately let them off the hook if they agree to hand over money for the items they were attempting to swipe.
The store -- which mainly caters to Chinese clientele -- seems to be practicing a popular method in China, in which suspected shoplifters are forced to pay for the items they were looking to steal. In fact, some storekeepers in the County reportedly post signs reading, "Steal one, fine 10."
It's unclear if the practice is legal in the United States. However, the New York City police department and the Queens district attorney's office said it had not received any complaints about the practice.
Critics say the accused shoplifters are deprived of basic civil rights and are not being held by adequately trained security officials with proper oversight.
Similar methods are reportedly used in Chinese neighborhoods around the city.