Law enforcement in Ocean City, New Jersey is cracking down on shoplifting. Ocean City prosecutors have embraced a zero-tolerance position when it comes to shoplifting. According to authorities, the city plans to prosecute all cases. This means that Ocean City shoplifting cases will not be plea bargained to lesser charges like disorderly persons offenses or municipal ordinances in exchange for guilty pleas in Ocean City Municipal Court.
Moreover, anyone caught stealing items from local businesses can expect to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, with municipal prosecutors seeking maximum penalties in most store theft cases.
Sending a Message to Shoplifters in Ocean City, NJ
City officials hope that by prosecuting all shoplifting offenses, potential offenders will think twice before snatching items from store shelves. The Ocean City police captain noted the “police department and the prosecutor will work with the business owners to bring about positive results” in the event of a shoplifting offense.
The city’s zero-tolerance stance has also been embraced by local merchants. While some store owners tend to view thwarted shoplifting attempts as “no harm, no foul” offenses, the reality is that letting shoplifters off the hook with a warning might fail to discourage the illegal activity. So, in the hope of deterring individuals from shoplifting in the future, many local businesses are now on board with the city’s policy of prosecuting all shoplifters and taking all shoplifting cases to court.
Some local business owners have taken extreme measures to discourage shoplifters. Wes Kazmarck, an owner of the Surf Mall shopping center located on the boardwalk in Ocean City, installed 56 cameras in the ceiling of the shopping complex. He also posted warning signs on dressing room doors to inform potential offenders that the business will prosecute all theft offenses.
Shoplifting on the Rise during the Summer in Ocean City
Shoplifting is a major issue in the tourist resort town. According to the Ocean City police captain, “It’s a big problem on the boardwalk because businesses on the boardwalk have a small window to have a successful year and any theft hurts them.”
It is no coincidence that Ocean City recently began to publicize its zero-tolerance policy on shoplifting. The number of shoplifting offenses typically increases during the summer months when tourists visit South Jersey. City officials are trying to spread the word about the new policy so that no one makes the mistake of shoplifting and thinking that they will be able to get away with a mere slap on the wrist.
To learn more about the zero-tolerance policy on shoplifting in Ocean City, NJ, view the PressofAtlanticCity.com article at http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/ocean-city-showing-zero-tolerance-to-shoplifters/article_df95aab0-2f23-11e5-ab87-8fc01c9c3a4e.html.
John W. Tumelty is a former prosecutor who has unique insight into the NJ criminal justice system. If you have been charged with shoplifting or any other theft offense in South Jersey, Mr. Tumelty can help you avoid the most serious penalties. Call him today to discuss your case over the phone or schedule a free consultation at one of his offices in Atlantic City, Somers Point or Marmora.