Pell City Police increase law enforcement at stores to combat holiday theft

Local News

PELL CITY, Ala (WIAT)– The season of giving, also becomes the season of taking.

In the first ten days of December, Pell City police have arrested nine people for theft at the Bankhead Crossings Walmart.

The number is down from last year, but the proactive approach to preventing theft is the same.

Chief Paul Irwin says starting on Black Friday, a mobile command center is parked outside Walmart and officers consistently patrol the shopping center.

Last year, nineteen people were arrested from December 1-10.

“It’s apparently helped a lot,” says Chief Irwin, but explains he’ll need to see the month’s total to know for sure.

Most importantly, Chief Irwin wants to get the message out that crime doesn’t pay.

He explains, if you’re arrested and found guilty of theft, first time offenders will spend five days in jail.

“You can really mess your life up if you’re arrested for a crime such as this, a crime involving moral turpitude. You can really damage your life and your ability for employment.”

Some of the recovered items include Christmas cards, dog bones, a fur jacket, batteries, and other non-essential goods.

Chief Irwin says the reason for theft varies from person to person and his officers try to help if the person appears to be in need.

He encourages anyone who is considering stealing because of a need to reach out to a local organization that is willing to help.

“There’s a lot of other things people can do, and there’s a lot of people who want to help them.”

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