Photo courtesy City of Burien

Burien Police Chief Ted Boe recently presented a new Retail Theft Program meant to tackle retail shoplifting to the City Council, “in an effort to save valuable police staff hours.”

Here’s what Boe says the department’s new program will do:

    • Gives businesses the ability to report incidents of shoplifting directly to an assigned Burien Police liaison.
    • Trained store security will identify and detain an individual suspected of shoplifting.
    • The store security will then complete a witness statement, identify the suspect, call 9-1-1 to ensure there are no warrants, trespass and then release the suspect, and then forward the paperwork to the detective.
    • The detective will review the report and prepare and forward the packet to the prosecutor.
    • The prosecutor will then files charges and issue a summons.

Police say that there were 350 calls to report retail theft in 2019.

“Under the former process, it takes 90 minutes on average to respond and fill out the paperwork for shoplifting incidents,” Boe added.