Sixteen people have been arrested for shoplifting at the Whitesburg Walmart since Thursday.
Eight more people were spotted trying to steal items, but noticed Walmart employees nearby and put items back, said Whitesburg Police Chief Tyrone Fields.
“People are getting braver,” said Fields. “Our businesses are watching for people and are doing a good job catching them.”
A man was caught stealing rope priced at $6.33, Fields said. A woman had a large satchel full of about $300 worth of merchandise that Fields said she had taken to the bathroom where she had removed packaging and tags.
Jewelry, watches, panties, lotion and makeup are some of the items stolen from Walmart in the last few days.
“ Most everybody we have charged have had money in their pockets,” said Fields. “Some of them paid for half the stuff and tried to steal the other half. They are stealing just to be stealing.”
Fields said several people arrested recently for shoplifting have jobs.
Whitesburg Police Department has also received complaints from the Dollar General Store, but the shoplifter had left the scene before police arrived.
Some of those arrested were also charged with drug charges.
Fields said businesses and homeowners should be on high alert for shoplifters. He advises people to not leave valuables in vehicles.
Fields also said people are going door to door in residential neighborhoods claiming to be looking for odd jobs. Police have also received recent complaints of people standing in front of local businesses begging for money.