Shoplifters can increase the price of your Christmas wish list

SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Everyday American shoplifters are believed to steal an estimated $35 million worth of merchandise, increasing the costs to Grand Strand Christmas shoppers.

"It may only be three to four hundred dollars worth of merchandise a pop, but that three to four hundred dollars has to come from somewhere, and a store has to make money or it doesn't survive," said Surfside Beach Police Chief Mike Frederick.

Surfside Beach Police recently arrested a 26-year-old woman for stealing hundreds of dollars worth of goods from an area grocery store. According to a police report, the suspect, Alisha Dawn Royal, was arrested after stealing dozens of Myrtle Beach sweatshirts and novelty items.

Experts suggest thieves target stores with small security staffs and often work to steal items that cannot be traced back to the original store.

"Most thieves take items without serial numbers, stuff that can be easily turned into cash," added Chief Frederick.

One of the Grand Strand's most well known pawn shops, Dick's Pawn Shops, requires an I. D. for any trade in an effort to crackdown on stolen merchandise.

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