Two bold thieves strolled out of a Lowe’s in Oregon with thousands of dollars of merchandise – a brazen heist that cops say is part of a shoplifting surge during the coronavirus pandemic.
Footage of the shoplifters posted to Facebook on Aug. 25 shows them calmly walking out of the Lowe’s store in Keizer, where store employees looked on but didn’t stop them.
“Can you show me the receipt?” one female employee asks the men, prompting one to tell the other to show the slip as they kept on walking. “No, I don’t think so.”
A second Lowe’s employee then approaches the men as they walk out, but the female worker said it wasn’t worth his trouble, the clips shows.
“Hey, don’t do this,” she tells her colleague. “It’s not worth it.”
Another customer who filmed the incident, an electrician named Andrew Sullivan, told the Keizer Times last week that the men made off with thousands of dollars worth of electrical wire.
“It was so blatant, that’s what riled me up,” Sullivan told the weekly newspaper. “They were just strolling through the parking lot, just riding the carts.”
Sullivan’s 90-second clip showed the men taking the carts to a car parked outside where they met a third man while unloading the stolen spools of wire before riding off.
“Report it, man,” one of the thieves appeared to tell Sullivan.
Keizer police Lt. Andrew Copeland told the Keizer Times that Lowe’s didn’t report the theft until the following day. An investigation is ongoing, but Copeland noted that many jails in Oregon aren’t taking suspects charged with certain crime, including theft.
“Once you’ve stolen from Lowe’s once and know they can’t stop you, there’s no real consequence,” Copeland said. “Second thing is, these people know they can’t go to jail.”
Most suspects accused of theft are fined, cited and released in an effort to cut jail populations during the COVID-19 pandemic, Copeland said.
“In order for us to arrest someone, we have to have a victim,” Copeland said, adding that larger corporations like Lowe’s typically have policies barring them from physically stopping shoplifters. “If Lowe’s chooses not to report it, we can’t do anything.”
Keizer police Lt. Trevor Wenning told The Post Tuesday that the suspects on the clip had yet to be identified in the ongoing investigation. One of the men had a distinctive Air Jordan tattoo on his left calf, the footage shows.
Reps for Lowe’s did not immediately respond to an inquiry Tuesday on the incident and its policies about stopping suspected shoplifters.