Retailers across DMV search for solutions to combat rampant theft

From the city to the suburbs, retailers across the DMV are dealing with thieves coming into stores and stealing items, often with no consequences.

Items are being locked up in cases, new cameras are being mounted and security guards are being added as stores search for solutions to combat rampant theft.

A Prince William County CVS employee told FOX 5 that students at nearby high schools were coming in and raiding the shelves, stealing items and taking off. 

Employees say they’re often told not to engage but one former retail manager says harsher punishments are needed for these thieves.

RELATED: Columbia Heights CVS plagued by crime closing in February

FOX 5 reached out to Prince William County police who say many large businesses are known to not pursue thieves depending on the amount of the items stolen but police say they will always pursue charges if the business wishes to proceed.

Police also say the employees who witness the theft would need to be willing to come to court and sometimes "that's not worth their time depending on the circumstances." 

Other times, police tell FOX 5 they may not be contacted at all.

Some stores are reportedly locking everything up and having customers select their items on a digital screen and pick it up upon payment.

On Tuesday, three CVS stores were robbed in Montgomery County, two in Bethesda and one in Chevy Chase — all within an hour. The robberies occurred: 

  • in the 6900 block of Arlington Rd., at approximately 1:14 p.m.
  • in the 3800 block of Chaplin Pl., at approximately 1:24 p.m.
  • in the 7200 block of Wisconsin Ave., at approximately 2:27 p.m.

Police say at this time, they do not have any suspect information to provide.