PENDLETON, Ind. - The owners of B'Dazzled Boutique in Pendleton say they're at their wits' end trying to fend off a wave of shoplifting.
In fact, it's gotten so common that co-owner Beth Staedtar identified a known shoplifter who entered the store – and promptly exited – while an RTV6 camera crew was at the business.
"I love my customers; they’re the best in the world," Staedtar said. "It’s the 2 percent that ruin it for everybody else."
Staedtar and co-owner Dan Owens, her son, said they've added cameras, ink tags and an alarm system to counter shoplifters – to little avail.
“I’m physically nauseated it has happened to me over and over in this store," Staedtar said. "You hate to make it look like a prison when people walk into your store, but we have to have the alarm system."
Last week, Staedtar said the cameras captured video of two women stuffing designer jeans into empty purses.
The jeans retail price was between $90 and $120, according to Staedtar.
“We’re just at our wits’ end with it, it’s just so upsetting when you’ve tried everything and you can’t even leave your store because you have to fear somebody is going to come in and steal things from you. It’s a terrible feeling,” said Staedtar.
As Staedtar and Owens were describing the damage the shoplifters have done to the store, one of the women they identified from surveillance footage entered the store. She headed straight for the same type of jeans Staedtar said she had taken before, until she noticed Staedtar had seen her.
Staedtar and Owens said they don't know who the shoplifters are, but they've filed a complaint with the Pendleton Police Department.
"It makes you angry," Owens said, "especially when you add it up. That's a $100 pair of jeans [they took] and that's not all they were getting away with."
Pendleton Police ask anyone with information about the thefts to contact them at (765)778-3933.