Is bag ban leading to more shoplifting? - | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Is bag ban leading to more shoplifting?

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After three months of the bag ban in Austin some believe that it has made it easier for thieves to shoplift from stores.

A woman was arrested in Pflugerville for shoplifting, allegedly used reusable shopping bags and one of her children.

If reusable bags can make it easier for people to steal items in a city where there is no bag ban, could it be happening more often here in Austin?

Police reports show 33 year-old Demetra Arnold was arrested for attempting to steal from a Pflugerville HEB while she was with four of her children.

According to the affidavit, she hid items in a reusable shopping bag and gave her 11-year-old son an old shopping receipt, sending him out the front door with a full shopping cart.

The Austin bag ban was implemented March 1st. FOX 7 asked Austin Police to compare citywide shoplifting incidents for the months of March, April and May and then compare them to the same time last year. March is the only month where there was no increase. In April there were 44 more incidents and 57 in May.

"Business and store owners have said it's harder to detect shoplifting because people walk out with items now if they did not bring their own bag," said Alexandria Bruton with Austin Resource Recovery. They might choose to just hold them or put them in their reusable bag, but again, the numbers that we have don't show that it's happening that frequently."

However, Austin is only three months into the bag ban, and crews with Austin Resource Recovery, who manage trash and recycling say they're seeing fewer plastic bags littering the streets.

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