Office of Justice Programs (OJP)

D'Iberville Retail Crimes Unit

BJA Program(s): Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program
State(s): MS

Jurisdiction(s): City of D'Iberville, MS

Grantee Agency: D'Iberville Police Department
Subgrantee Agency: D'Iberville Police Department

Grant Amount/Year(s): FY 2014/113,646; FY 2015/62,466; FY 2016/175,191

About the Program:

The commercial retail industry in D’Iberville, Mississippi, has grown rapidly over the last decade with the development of new shopping centers. This development has nearly doubled the number of retail stores in the area from 34 to more than 60 and counting.

With this development, the D’Iberville Police Department has seen a substantial increase in the number of retail crimes, such as shoplifting and credit card fraud. Between 2014 and 2015 alone, there was a 39 percent increase in reported retail crimes, according to police.

To address this growing problem, the D’Iberville Police Department developed the Retail Crimes Unit with support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). Since 2015, the city has received grant funding through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program to support officers who specifically combat retail crimes throughout the community.

Program Successes/Effect on the Community:

With support from BJA’s JAG Program, D’Iberville first assigned one officer specifically to retail crimes in March 2015. Over the final 9 months of 2015, police received 489 reports of retail crimes and reported 230 arrests stemming from those cases. Of the 230 arrests, 66 percent resulted in a conviction.

In 2016, the numbers were similar as the city saw 500 reports of retail crimes and again totaled 230 arrests.

D’Iberville Retail Crimes Unit Activity

Year

Retail Crime Reports

Arrests

March– Dec. 2015

489

230

2016

500

230

Jan. – Nov. 2017

795

643

But in February 2017, the D’Iberville Police Department noticed that the one officer dedicated to retail crimes was receiving more cases than one person could handle, so it added another officer with support from BJA funds. At this time, the city also used local funding to add an investigator from the Criminal Investigations Division and announced the formation of a three-man Retail Crimes Unit.

With the formation of the Retail Crimes Unit, the D’Iberville Police Department has enhanced its ability to handle retail crimes throughout the city. Through just 11 months in 2017, D’Iberville saw a record high 795 reports of retail crimes, but police also reported 643 arrests, thanks to more people working in the Retail Crimes Unit.

In one instance, the Retail Crimes Unit investigated a subject who was shoplifting thousands of dollars’ worth of fishing reels from sporting goods stores not only in D'Iberville but also in Gulfport, Mississippi, and in Mobile, Alabama. The suspect would then sell the expensive reels to local pawn shops. After arresting the suspect, police charged him with felony shoplifting based on the value of the merchandise and the fact that this was the suspect’s third shoplifting charge.

Police Captain Marty Griffin, who oversees the Retail Crimes Unit, said the BJA grant has done wonders for the D’Iberville Police Department and with support of local merchants, the unit has been “extremely successful” in combating retail crime throughout the city.

Learn More:
To learn more about the program, please contact:
Frances Hall
Grant Coordinator
D'Iberville Police Dept.
Email: fhall@diberville.ms.us
Phone: 228-396-4252

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