“Theft tends to spike up this time of year, because there’s just a lot more people out shopping,” said Lancaster Community Relations deputy Michael Rust. “We want to help combat the crime, and also ensure safety of the people that are out shopping.”
During “Sticky Fingers” operations, several of Lancaster Station’s specialized teams will be working undercover at retail stores throughout Lancaster. The teams will be focusing on all types of crimes and will have a zero tolerance policy.
“It’s not just the big box stores, they’re going to be all over the city,” Rust said. “Realistically you would be stupid to even try anything between now and the first of the year, there’s just going to be a lot of coppers out there.”
Those busted during “Sticky Fingers” operations can expect to be promptly arrested and, in many cases, charged with commercial burglary.
“If you go into a store with no money in your pocket and you steal something, you just committed commercial burglary,” Rust said. “It’s up to the district attorney to figure it all out, but we are going to arrest you for commercial burglary.”
Rust said thieves can also expect to have their identities publicized at the conclusion of the holiday season.
“Once the operation is complete, the arrests will be publicized. We can’t really show pictures, but we will publicize the names,” Rust said.
“This operation provides extra security for the people that are out shopping and provides an opportunity for us to catch the people that are out there committing crimes,” Rust continued. “It’s not just targeting shoplifters, they’re targeting any crime that they see.”