Upward trend of theft causes concern for base exchange officials
Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of articles on shoplifting at Luke.
The Luke Air Force Base Exchange caught 32 shoplifters in 2012. By comparison, this year, 34 people have already been caught as of Sunday trying to steal on base.
The exchange takes this trend seriously and works with authorities on and off base to prosecute alleged shoplifters.
Shoplifting at the exchange is a violation of federal law, and individuals caught will be charged with stealing government property. This offense is generally considered a class-A misdemeanor.
When someone is suspected of shoplifting, the exchange calls the 56th Security Forces Squadron. The 56th SFS detains the alleged shoplifter for questioning and contacts the Glendale police.
Alleged shoplifters face civil reimbursement expenses with the exchange as well as legal punishment in Glendale.
Violations by those who aren’t active-duty servicemembers, reservists or guardsmen fall under Glendale’s jurisdiction for legal and prosecution purposes. This includes all retired military members who hold identification cards, dependents with ID cards and nonmilitary affiliated guests of ID card holders on base.
- If a non active-duty, reservist or guardsman dependent, military retiree or friend steals merchandise, it will cost that person no less than $400, plus any damages to the stolen merchandise.
- If one PS Vita game system is stolen, the exchange must sell 26 units to make up for the loss. It may take a year or more to make up the difference. Until that is met, the exchange does not make any money on that item.
- All revenues made at the exchange, after operating expenses are paid, go to the Luke morale, welfare and recreation fund. Any merchandise stolen from the exchange takes money directly away from this fund. The Luke exchange donated more than $500,000 to the Luke MWR fund in 2012. That money helps venues on base including Thunderbolt Lanes, the library, youth center and daycare centers.