Island shopkeepers have a message for would-be shoplifters: We’re watching you

July 6, 2021
By Marcy Shortuse

STAFF REPORT – A shoplifting duo found out the hard way that Boca Grande businesses are paying close attention to their customers, as they were arrested for their crimes that took place on Sunday, June 27.

According to an employee at Aqua Boutique on Park Avenue, the pair were a mother and daughter team. One of them took items into a dressing room to try on, but when they emerged the store clerk realized they were a few items shy of what they had taken in. When she found the empty hangers hidden under a rug in the dressing room, she took a picture of the alleged culprits and called the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

The store employee said that Boca Grande Outfitters called them and let them know that the woman was also in their store, and not to long after that it was discovered that the pair had also been in Fugate’s and Gasparilla Outfitters & Special Effects.

Deputies found the pair walking down Park Avenue not long after that.

The value of the goods stolen at Fugate’s was approximately $400. At Gasparilla Outfitters the value of the goods was approximately $75, and at Boca Grande Outfitters it was approximately $150. The value of the Aqua Boutique items was just under $1,000. All merchandise was returned to the stores.

According to some shopkeepers on the island, summer is a time when shoplifting occurrences are higher than usual. This is most likely due to a more limited amount of employees on duty in the store. What thieves don’t realize, though, is that many of our stores have security cameras, as well as employees who watch their merchandise carefully and business proprietors who keep in contact with each other when suspicious activity takes place.