Waco, TX (FOX 44) — Theft. Whether it be large-scale like robbery, or small-scale like intentionally not scanning an item at self-checkout, Waco PD’s Cierra Shipley says it best:

“Something as simple as that can ruin your life,” says Shipley.

“If you didn’t pay for it, it’s not yours” — a moral and legal principle taught to us as kids — but it’s a law that more and more adults are breaking, possibly due to inflation and rising costs.

“It’s not worth it. You know, there’s a lot of resources out there that are out there willing to help those individuals that might be struggling during this time,” Shipley says.

Target reported that it is closing nine stores, saying theft and organized retail crime are threatening the safety of its employees and customers, and, quote, “Contributing to unsuitable business performance.”

Dollar Tree’s CEO, Rick Dreiling, says theft in stores has hurt their bottom line. Even Dick’s Sporting Goods’ profits fell 23%, and the company is blaming theft. Kohl’s, Foot Locker and Walmart executives have also felt the pain of “shrink inventory,” a retail term that means lost inventory from theft or internal issues.

Contrary to national trends, in Waco, overall crime has actually gone down by 16% since 2022.

“Theft itself, again compared to last year, so January to August, has gone down by 22%. It doesn’t mean that we’re not seeing theft cases. We are still seeing theft cases, but the decrease is there,” says Shipley.

She adds if you’re in need of food, there are numerous resources in our area.

“We always have organizations like Salvation Army and Shepherd’s Heart that work really well and try and give food out to the community. Those that need it, and free food that is as well and or at a discounted or low price,” says Shipley.