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July 23, 2018

Jersey Shore town implementing 'zero-tolerance' shoplifting policy

Jersey Shore Crime
Sea Isle City Smallbones /Wikimedia Commons

Watertower in Sea Isle City, New Jersey.

One Jersey Shore town is trying to crack down on shoplifting after a "season uptick" of local businesses getting hit.

Sea Isle City Police Chief Tom McQuillen, who was sworn in earlier this year and has already tried to tighten enforcement of drinking on the beach, said in a Facebook message Friday that the department has decided to alter its policy on how it responds to shoplifting calls.

"Our goal is very clear and straightforward: To reduce the incidents of shoplifting thru [sic] an educational program, followed by a zero-tolerance policy on offenders and working with the court system to hold offenders responsible to the fullest extent of the law," McQuillen wrote.

RELATED: 2018 Jersey Shore beach guide: Sea Isle City

McQuillen added that officers will be checking in with local merchants and giving them tips on how to prevent shoplifting in the first place.

He also encouraged parents to talk to their kids about the consequences of stealing. The crime, McQuillen explained, can take a huge toll on businesses.

"These thefts, which can be for something as simple as a stolen item of clothing, can really hurt a small business owner’s ability to stay in business," McQuillen wrote.

As previously noted, McQuillen had started his tenure as police chief by preaching a tough, no-nonsense approach. Before Memorial Day weekend, the department warned that they'd be strictly enforcing quality of life issues like open containers of alcohol and noise violations.