Shoplifters on Display at Local Mall - NBC New York

Shoplifters on Display at Local Mall

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



    Shoplifters on Display at Local Mall
    Getty Images
    The Staten Island Mall has begun flashing shoplifter mugshots on dynamic screens to deter future crime.

    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.