Harper Ortiz is anticipating a busy holiday season, but not for
As a loss prevention associate at Sears in Foothills Fashion
Mall, 215 E. Foothills Parkway, her job is to spot and stop
“Our busiest times are around the holidays,” said Ortiz, a CSU
sophomore veterinary medicine open option major. “It’s a big issue.
There are shoplifters coming in and we need to go after them.”
With the holidays coming up, shoplifting and other crimes that
come along with them affect everyone who shops or works in
“On my nights I usually have two or three shoplifters,” Ortiz
said. “They’ve taken anywhere from $50 to $800 or more.”
Not only are outside thieves stealing from stores, but internal
theft is also on the rise.
“We’re actually having more internal than external,” Ortiz said.
“We know that things have been disappearing and employees are the
only ones with access to it.”
For Nathan Burkey, a lawn and garden associate at Sears,
shoplifting is a personal insult.
“They’re stealing from me, not just from Sears,” Burkey said.
“They’re taking merchandise that I should be making commission
Depending upon a store’s individual profit margin, compensating
for merchandise taken by shoplifters can take much more in sales.
If a store has a profit margin of 1 percent and $7 worth of
merchandise is shoplifted from the store, it must sell $700 worth
of merchandise to make up its loses, according to
Foothills Mall is taking extra precautions to protect against
shoplifters in each of its stores by increasing mall security and
incorporating Fort Collins Police Services officers to its security
staff on the weekends.
“Whenever we have more customers we have greater amounts of
shoplifting,” said Cynthia Eichler, general manager of Foothills
Mall. “One thing that we always do is up the number of
Eichler can think of a few explanations why shoplifting numbers
are particularly high this year.
“There’s pressure to keep the holidays the same as they’ve
always been and times are tough,” Eichler said. “People are being
put in positions that we haven’t seen in Fort Collins for a
However for some, shoplifting during the holidays is no
different than any other time of year.
“You have to remember that some people actually do this for a
living,” Eichler said.