Shoplifters on Display at Local Mall

Mugshots join holiday decorations at the Staten Island Mall to deter shoplifters

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KTTC

It's official: 2008 is setting records for the most depressing holiday season since the Grinch dismantled all the Christmas trees and stockings in Whoville. No-one's shopping, Santas can't make a buck, and - what with stores across America reporting a 10 percent rise in theft -- a shopping center in Staten Island is putting mugshots of convicted shoplifters on display.

Those who've been nabbed helping themselves to a five-finger discount at the Staten Island Mall are getting their fifteen minutes of infamy thanks to their faces alternating with advertising on the mall's dynamic screens, which - is it just us? - look like giant iPods.

DA Daniel Donovan, who developed the program, says "the intent is not to stigmatize the thieves," but rather remind would-be criminals that there's no slipping under the radar here. The best part? The advisories - which will appear onscreen about two million times throughout the shopping season, updated with new faces as soon as mugshots of convicted shoplifters come in -- are being paid for with cash taken from the shoplifters' own assets.

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
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