NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Offbeat

August 14, 2009

Colo store bags theft problem with no-purse policy

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Leave your purse in the car, or you won't get service at one Colorado Springs liquor store.

Colorado's Liquor Outlet has imposed a no-purse policy to combat skyrocketing losses from shoplifting. Owner Wayne Harris also outlaws backpacks and bags men carry.

He says he imposed the ban because shoplifters use bags to stash their favorite beverages.

Harris says his typical weekly loss to shoplifting used to be about $300, but the problem has escalated this year, resulting in losses as high as $2,000 per week. He says thefts have dropped since he adopted the new policy.

The purse prohibition has angered some people, and some vow to boycott the store. But Harris says his figures show the number of customers coming in is about the same as it was a year ago.

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