Greenpoint, Brooklyn is known for being one of the safest neighborhoods in the New York City, but behind its clean parks and cheerful community members there lies a criminal problem with shoplifting.
The criminals may remain nameless, but their faces are well displayed on the storefront windows of Khim’s Millenium Market, 342 Graham Ave., where Owner Charlie Khim said there has been a constant string of shoplifters.
The photographs were taken from surveillance video and all bare the same title, “Shop Lifter,” in bold red letters. Some of the posters have details describing multiple offenses and threats to including, “We will put this picture to all of our store in Williamsburg…Now you are famous!”
Khim said he has been posting the photographs of shoplifters caught in the act on the store windows for the past six months as a way to scare and shame offenders.
“I’ll take them down and change them every three months. I used to let them go, the first time just let them go easy, but they keep coming back,” Khim said.
Khim’s Millenium Market is a natural health foods store that specializes in organic produce and packaged foods. Khim said he has seen many different ages and types of individuals caught shoplifting and about 20 have been convicted since the store opened about a year and a half ago.
“If you do this business long enough, you know what’s going on. They’re always looking around a lot,” Khim said.
He said the store’s $20,000 security system of nearly 30 cameras has been helpful in catching the shoplifters because it provides proof of the crime. In addition to the two flat screen televisions surveillance monitors hanging in the front of the store, Khim said he is also able to watch the live footage from his office and his home.
According to the 94th precinct, shoplifting can occur at any time and it is a minor offense. If convicted, the criminal could face fines, community service or up to 30 days in jail.
“The police told me to call them as soon as we catch it, no matter who it is. It’s better for the community,” Khim said.
As for the people caught on camera, Khim said no one has complained about having their photograph posted in the window.