Police chase shoplifting suspect during blitz

Shoplifting suspect is arrested / Jason Dubois

The Saginaw Township Police Department is cracking down on shoplifters.

NBC25 has an exclusive on how a special task force is enforcing their zero-tolerance policy.

For more than three hours it was pretty quiet, but shortly after seven things heated up real fast when a retailer radioed police.

Two suspects, one TMs in a dark hoody, the other is in a dark jacket, said a member of the Shoplifter Task Force.

The call came in shortly before 7:30 Friday night. Two men stole jewelry from a department store in Saginaw Township and took off running.

"The guy is running east!" said a member of the Shoplifter Task Force.

One suspect was spotted cutting behind Burger King off Tittabawassee Street.

Within minutes Saginaw Township TMs Shoplifter Task Force was on him.

"You heard me five times hollering at you," a member of the Shoplifter Task Force.

In the last two days, 18 people were arrested during the shoplifting blitz.

"One guy outstanding, let's find the other guy," said Officer Chris Fredenburg with Saginaw Township Police.

Officer Chris Fredenburg is in charge of the undercover operation.

The whole idea is, nobody gets away, and everybody goes to jail, said Officer Fredenburg.

He says shoplifting in Saginaw Township used to be a big problem, now criminals know better than to come here.

We're organized, and we're working with the retailers to combat this problem," said Officer Fredenburg.

More than a dozen area retailers are now trained to spot shoplifters.

Making selections without looking at prices, looking around for security," said Officer Fredenburg.

Police say shoplifters are mainly females ages 17 to 30, and they hide the stolen merchandise in very peculiar places.

In the baby stroller, sometimes under the baby, said Officer Fredenburg.

Officer Fredenburg says because of the task force, shoplifting arrests have gone down dramatically since 2007, and so have property crimes.

People that we are arresting for shoplifting are going back and are telling other people about our concentrated efforts, said Officer Fredenburg.

And its arrests like this one that make people think twice about shoplifting.

Officer Fredenburg says retailers are now sharing surveillance video through e-mail so suspects can be tracked.

Police say during the shoplifting blitz, more than $2,000 in stolen merchandise was recovered.