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Merchants Battle Holiday Season Shoplifters

San Luis Obispo Police are looking for a young woman caught allegedly shoplifting by in-store surveillance cameras in downtown San Luis Obispo.

A late holiday shopping rush, and opportunistic thieves, are keeping shop owners on their toes.

This time of year shop owners and merchants are busy taking care of their customers while keeping a close eye on their merchandise.

Its the home stretch for the holiday shopping season in downtown San Luis Obispo.

“Its just starting to kick up and go so we’re excited because people are coming out”, says Cecilia Fontes of Tails Pet Boutique on Higuera Street.

So far though. holiday sales are nothing to shout about for long time downtown shop owners like Daria Mussak who owns the Unique Selections gift shop on Higuera Street.

“I am here in town for 25 years and I have a lot of customers”, Mussak says, “but I see them only on Christmas, they come back here.”

One thing these merchants can count on is shoplifting.

San Luis Obispo Police are looking for a young woman caught by surveillance cameras allegedly shoplifting at Ambience, a women’s clothing boutique on Higuera Street.

“I have sometimes this problem, of course, but not all the time”, Daria Mussak says, “I catch many people, they like to take some souvenirs.”

Shop owners know theft is a part of doing business, especially around the busy holiday season, which is why they use all the help they can get including more staff and surveillance cameras.

“We just try to be more aware, we make sure our staff is aware of it, if we get any descriptions of people, we watch for them”, Cecilia Fontes says, “lot of it is the merchandising, how you have things out and displayed whether or not someone can easily pocket something.”

Surveillance cameras can be a good investment for shop owners and merchants, police love to have them when they are investigating petty thefts, but the cameras alone can’t keep watch over everyone and everything in the store all of the time.

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