High Prices Tempts Thieves

The morning headline is ' Americans are asking what can be done to cut gas prices". For some the answer is steal. Sgt. Greg Sowell with the Nacogdoches Police Department said,  " A lot of this activity is economically driven, pretty much directly. " he's referring to robberies, burglaries and theft.

The most common temptation occurs while standing before a fuel pump. Gas drive offs can add up to significant losses. Managers must take precautions. Convenience store manager Dale Allen said,  " Everybody that wants to purchase gasoline they have to pre pay. That's come in and give us the money for it and then we'll turn on the pump. "

The novice thief is also putting grocery store and clothing retailers on high alert. So well said,  " we're beginning to see some first time shop lifters. "

Salvage yards are caught in the middle with a rise in copper and aluminum thefts. The metal sales are just as lucrative as drug dealing. Nacogdoches Recycling Center employees try to trust everybody that passes through, but by state law they are required to take certain measures to make sure they're not buying stolen material. And that's a full time job for Cheryl Lancaster. She sends identification information to the DPS Crime Records Service. Lancaster said,    " We have to take an ID on everybody that comes in even if they have just one pound of copper or aluminum or brass. Used to be 50 pounds or more. Now it's 1 pound because of all the theft. "

No matter how often you come up short on money, crime isn't the answer. Sowell advised,  " Before you go out and ruin your life. Before you go out and get a criminal record that lasts forever following you go and check with some of these places, some of these social services. "

Property owners can help out too. Protect your items and don't give people any more temptation to steal than what's already out there.