Seminar to focus on shoplifting

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— Jan Lomas has seen cards, magnets, vases, pottery and leather disappear from her store.

Lomas is just one of several downtown business owners who suffered from shoplifting over the winter, said Tracy Barnett of Main Street Steamboat Springs.

What: Seminar about protecting your business against shoplifters When: 8 to 10 a.m. Tuesday Where: Citizens' Meeting Room, Centennial Hall, 124 10th Street

Main Street and the Steamboat Springs Police De---part--ment are sponsoring a seminar Tuesday about protecting businesses against shoplifters.

"We want to do anything we can do to alert other people that (shoplifters) are in town," Barnett said.

Lomas, owner of Artisans' Market, recently lost about $6,000 of merchandise in six months. During the 25 years the store has been open, the average loss was about $1,000 in a year.

Lomas, who helped organize the seminar, is ready to hear any tips she can.

"If there is anything they can tell me to help me, then I'm all ears," Lomas said. "I am at a loss. I am so angry, frustrated, hurt -- you name it -- over this sort of thing."

Lomas has already gotten some tips. She is investing $20,000 to $30,000 to protect herself against shoplifters.

"We're trying to make some proactive changes," Lomas said. Those changes include increased staffing and the installation of video camera systems. Lomas is also planning to purchase glass counters for jewelry and other small items.

Jerry Stabile of the police department will offer other tips, Barnett said. He will discuss techniques for arranging a store, such as clearing lines of sight.

Lomas said the survival of her store depends upon her new shoplifting deterrents.

"We're just trying to stay alive as a small mom-and-pop operation," she said.

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