Jun 272010
 
 June 27, 2010  Business

Corey Kilgannon and Jeffrey E.  Singer report:

Customers at the A&N Food Market in Queens are almost entirely Chinese. Shelves are stacked with live eels, turtles and frogs, frozen duck tongue and canned congee. And these exotic goods, like any product sold in every neighbourhood of New York, attract shoplifters.

But A&N Food Market has a unique method of dealing with the problem.

First, suspected shoplifters have their identification seized. Then, they are photographed holding up the items they are accused of trying to steal. Finally, workers at the store threaten to display the photographs and to call the police – unless the accused thieves hand over money.

“We usually fine them $400 (£270],” said Tem Shieh, 60, the manager, who keeps track of customers on 30 video monitors in the store’s surveillance system. “If they don’t have the money, then we usually hold their identification and give them a chance to go get it.”

The practice of catching suspected shoplifters and demanding payment is an import from China – whether it is legal in the United States is open to interpretation.

Read more on Scotsman.

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