The impact of theft on Madison businesses
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A Madison business is contending with theft in recent weeks and highlights one of the many problems endured by business owners in the area.
According to Madison Police reports, the city averages over 5,200 incidents classified as theft offenses in the past three years. It is one of the many different types of stealing categorized in the report. While some areas, like burglary, are down, other offenses, like car theft, have more than doubled in the past five years. But this year, things like theft offenses or shoplifting is more of a burden on business.
“Petty theft and robberies are a part of being in the retail business and an unfortunate part of being in the retail business,” said Downtown Madison Inc. President Jason Ilstrup. “You have to watch very carefully; you don’t want to lose the supply that is sometimes so hard to get.”
Ilstup says businesses work with the MPD to get ahead of crime through various methods like the position of merchandise, finding tech to beef up security, or sharing of information.
“We have a community policing team and community resource officers who do a nice job of working with business owners,” said MPD spokesperson Stephanie Fryer.
She says while not every business can afford to consult a security expert, they can all use the MPD as a resource for how to combat crime. The department’s burglary unit is working to crack down on the growing problem of car theft, which it hopes will lead to a trickle-down effect of fewer crimes like retail theft. The department says new measures like assigning such theft to a detective are ways to carry out Chief Shon Barnes’s goal of fewer car thefts by the end of the summer.
Ilstrup adds the downtown area is still a beautiful place to spend a weekend or weekday night, and area businesses still need customers to shop local.
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