Crime prevention: larceny

Lawton Public Safety building.
Lawton Public Safety building.(KSWO)
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 11:54 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - Often confused with burglary and robbery, larceny can affect many people.

“If I force something out of your hands, or I make a threat towards you asking for that object. You have a robbery. With no force or fear, you’re looking at a larceny, and if you break in somewhere and take said object you’re looking at a burglary,” said Lawton Police Department Public Information Officer Chris Blessing. “In essence, it’s all having to do with taking something from somebody, but it’s in the manner of how it’s taken, defines how we file that charge.”

Larceny can be when a porch pirate steals your package or a shopper leaves without paying for groceries.

However, Lawton boutique manager Staci Kloxin, said the effects of theft are much more personal when it comes to local businesses, compared to big-box stores.

“They’re not taking from us, they’re taking from the two little ones they see running around here. They’re taking away from swim lessons. You know, the stuff that we have and the stuff we give to our kids, and that kind of stuff. They’re really just taking from that. That’s what makes me the most mad about it,” said Kloxin, the manager of Country Lace Boutique.

“We do see more of a hit to your mom-and-pop stores. Just because they rely on that income. They rely on that product to sell, or whatever service they’re selling to feed their families, to provide for their household,” added Blessing.

Kloxin said after a couple of shoplifting incidents, they decided to upgrade their security.

“We started putting our jewelry- we moved it a little bit to where you couldn’t get to the back of it, so that way somebody has to be out here helping you,” said Kloxin. “We’ve put up six cameras in the store just to make sure and protect ourselves.”

And if you happen to catch someone stealing, Blessing advised it’s best not to escalate.

“Please do not intervene. It’s just property at that time. We don’t want any harm to happen to an employee, an owner, a citizen. Just let the property go and call us please,” said Blessing.

“Anytime we’ve called them to get anything handled they’ve been here to figure out what we needed to do, and what our next steps were to help us get through it,” added Kloxin.

And according to Kloxin, the main thing a small business owner can do is be as involved as possible with their customers.

“When our customers are here we like to know they’re here, we like to know what they need, so I think really just being that involved with your customer also helps makes theft go down tremendously,” said Kloxin.

“Just be mindful of whose coming into your business first and foremost,” said Blessing.