Shoplifting crackdown sees 21 people charged

By on Monday, May 16th, 2022 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

COLLEGE PLACE – The College Place Police Department has partnered with the local Home Depot store to reduce in-store thefts. Recent increases in theft prompted CPPD and Home Depot management to collaborate on strategies to reduce theft. The result has been a number of arrests.

The police department and Home Depot put together a theft reduction plan by providing loss-prevention experts to assist with arrests. In addition to the loss-prevention teams, the College Place Home Depot has enhanced its ability to conduct video surveillance to assist in capturing thieves in the act which assists in prosecuting offenders.

Between April 29 and May 8, CPPD and Home Depot loss-prevention teams actions resulted in 21 arrests. Most of the cases were third-degree theft of property, $750 or less, which is a gross misdemeanor. However, two suspects were arrested for second-degree theft of property over $750 and less than $5,000, a class C felony.

“The CPPD was aware of individuals stealing and reselling Home Depot items online,” CPPD Chief Troy Tomaras said. “These are individuals making the decision to negatively impact our community.”

The police department wants to deter theft through support programs, accountability, and prosecution, Tomaras said.

“When appropriate, the city has referral and diversion programs for individuals who are struggling with mental health and chemical dependency,” he added. “We have resources for people who need help.”