Police: Thieves hiding inside local stores, stealing after hours

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by KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on February 18, 2013 at 11:51 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 24 at 1:29 AM

(KMOV.com) -- Police say a man spent two hours hidden inside a JC Penney store in Fenton before stealing cash from the registers. Authorities say this unusual method of theft has been on the rise.

According to St. Louis County Police, a worker hid inside the JC Penney store in Gravois Bluff just before closing time. When fellow employees had left, the man allegedly stole cash from the store's registers.

"You would hope that businesses would check every nook and cranny of their business before they lock their doors," said Officer Randy Vaughn. "But in some instances they're not doing that. And that's where these crimes are coming from."

Last month, police say a man hid inside a dollar store in Creve Coeur, then tied up two employees. After emptying the store's registers, authorities say the man fled the scene.

Officer Vaughn said employees need to pay close attention to who enters the store just before closing.

"Because these folks are walking in 15 minutes to a half hour before closing time, be aware of who's walking in at those times," Vaughn said. "If they know that you know that they're in there, they're going to be less likely to stick around."

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