SINGAPORE - In the first three months of this year, 75 shoplifters were caught after Orchard Road retailers worked with police to improve security.
This is more than the 63 arrested in the same period a year ago. The shoplifters, most of whom were Singaporean and whose ages ranged from 13 to 73, stole items valued at a total of about $11,000.
These ranged from designer handbags and clothing to groceries.
Most of the stolen items were recovered.
Police said they have been working closely with retailers to deter and detect theft in their outlets.
Some of the measures police advised retailers to adopt include displaying expensive items in locked display shelves accessible only by staff, enhancing the store's security system with closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras and convex mirrors, and the use of electronic tagging systems.
"Many retailers have enhanced their security measures through better training of their staff and strategic placement of CCTV," said a police spokesman.
"More offenders have also been apprehended as a result of stepped-up enforcement by retailers."
Shop theft is punishable with a prison term of up to seven years and a fine.
Criminal lawyer Josephus Tan said: "Shoplifting is a typical run-of-the-mill offence. Many of these cases occur in supermarkets, shopping malls in the heartland, petrol kiosks and 24-hour department stores.
"Some of the designer boutiques in Orchard Road may not emphasise on security features as they target the more upmarket and sophisticated shoppers.
"The figures are telling that these boutiques have clearly stepped up their security measures."
This article was published on April 24 in The Straits Times.Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.