Liquor store owner uses social media to find thieves; gives free alcohol in return
SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- An interesting initiative to track down shoplifters is underway at Blarney Stone on Portage Avenue.
The owner calls it the 'Customer of the Day.'
He takes to the stores Facebook page to post images that could help him catch thieves with added incentive for people to contact him with information.
“We get tired of people shoplifting our stores," said Blarney Stone Wine & Spirits owner, Vinay Patel.
Store clerks are not immune either.
“It’s not a good feeling having to worry about it," said Stephanie Magner.
ABC 57 counted at about 20 cameras inside the location, but even with all that security, they still need a little extra help from the community.
“Why not use the public to actually catch the thieves," said Patel.
He posts photos of the thieves allegedly caught on his security cameras.
As a reward for the publics help and information on the suspect, he gives them free alcohol.
“Within an hour, I knew where he lives, I had the mugshot of him and I had the car he drives. I have the picture of the home where he lives and everything," said Patel.
South Bend Police tell me, since 2018, police responded to the location 51 times.
This year, that number dropped down to 31 with 4 months left in the year.
Although it's not clear whether the 'Customer of the Day' idea is to credit, Patel doesn't plan to stop giving away the free alcohol if it means thieves will stay away.
“Theres a lot that goes on for SBPD which means they don’t have the time to look at every little theft that happens. And I just took initiative from my store to make sure these guys don’t come back," said Patel.
“I feel safe because they all look after, if anything were to happen I know my customers would have my back," said Magner.