Texas Town Mulls Mandatory C-Store Surveillance

Police in the town of McAllen, Texas, are asking that city’s lawmakers to consider an ordinance that would require c-stores to install video surveillance systems and lock up alcoholic beverages at night, The Monitor newspaper reported.

The newspaper said police Chief Victor Rodriguez is asking city leaders to consider the ordinance, which is intended to curb shoplifting.

City officials are already planning to install 120 video surveillance cameras throughout McAllen over the next five years.

Rodriguez told the newspaper that shoplifting at McAllen’s c-stores represents nearly 11% of all reported crime in the city. Most incidents include "grab and runs," in which a person snatches a product and runs out the door without paying, The Monitor reported.

The chief asked the city to consider requiring convenience stores to secure alcoholic beverages at night by padlocking coolers and selling drinks from behind the counter.

The proposed ordinance would also prohibit convenience stores from having outdoor displays offering unsecured merchandise, according to The Monitor.

Rodriguez stressed that his department and the city are continuing to research the measure. He said the details of the three-part convenience store ordinance could still be tweaked, and it is only in the preliminary stages.

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