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Caught on camera: Richmond business owner takes stand against shoplifters

Posted at 6:56 PM, Jan 27, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-28 09:59:48-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- After years of watching his bottom line decrease because shoplifting was increasing, Puneet Bhatia decided to make a big change--a new surveillance system.

In just two weeks he's caught his first alleged shoplifter on camera, video he's already turned over to the Richmond Police.

"My first reaction was, we got him, we got at least one of them" says Bhatia. "He has both his hands full, he took some of that in his one hand and put it in his pocket, then the other hand he put in the other pocket."

The need for the new camera system comes after losing about $1000 a month from shoplifting.

Loyal customers, like Robert Hambrick say they welcome the new additions mounted to the ceiling of the West Broad Street convenience store.

"I think shoplifting is an issue every where and he has to do what he has to do to protect his investment and ultimately if it helps him curb the cost he has to pass on to me, I'm all about that," Hambrick said.

Across the country, shoplifting from convenience stores costs the owner on average more than $10,000 a year, which is why many are purchasing high quality, low cost camera systems.

Police say they consider the man caught on camera to be a suspect in a shoplifting case and ask if you recognize him to call Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.