Black Friday 2016 at the Cool Springs Galleria Mall
By BROOKE WANSER
During the 2017 winter holiday season, Franklin Police officers made 125 arrests and recovered over $25,000 worth of stolen goods.
The efforts, Franklin Police Lieutenant Charles Warner said, were part of a Not In Our Mall campaign begun in 2014, focused on protecting the Cool Springs Galleria mall from shoplifting attempts.
Since crime tends to increase around the holidays, the campaign was a way for police to be proactive in deterring crime.
“Our three priorities for the operation are to safeguard shoppers, deter crime, and arrest criminals,” Warner said. “Franklin has some of the best shopping around, and our officers work hard to keep it that way.”
Warner said because of retail density, shopping numbers are highest at the mall.
“Criminals are drawn to areas with a lot of distracted people, making places like the Galleria a very target-rich environment,” he said. “Because criminals are drawn there, we’re drawn there.”
From Black Friday on November 24 to December 28, Franklin police officers worked with mall security to prevent losses. “These store security teams play a big role in deterring crime and helping us catch criminals,” he said.
Warner said officers who work anti-crime details, like the Not In Our Mall campaign, generate overtime, but, “it’s money well-spent when it comes to protecting our citizens and community.”
The most commonly stolen items? Name brand clothing, Warner said.
“Professional shoplifters would bag thousands of dollars’ worth at a time and then simply walk out of the store,” he reported. “They were very surprised and disappointed when undercover officers swooped in and took them into custody.”