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AAFES Gets New Weapon in Fight Against Shoplifting

Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 15, 2002 – The Army and Air Force Exchange Service can start demanding more compensation from those caught shoplifting thanks to a program written into the fiscal 2002 defense budget.

The Civil Recovery Act, which went into effect March 1, allows AAFES to collect a flat administrative cost of $200 in addition to the value of the shoplifted items from those caught shoplifting in an AAFES store.

An AAFES news release explained the $200 is meant to offset the expenses the service incurs because of shoplifting. Military exchanges spend millions of dollars each year to foil shoplifters, including measures to deter and detect thefts, the release said. AAFES catches more than 11,000 shoplifters each year.

Under the terms of the new program, sponsors are responsible for their family members' actions. Parents of minors caught shoplifting will be billed for the costs, AAFES officials explained. They added that this administrative charge is separate from any criminal prosecution or military disciplinary action.

"The expenses related to shoplifting, theft prevention and detection reduce the dividends available for the AAFES mission," the release said. It added that the mission is "to give back 100 percent of its earnings to exchange customers through quality-of-life programs and modern and convenient facilities to shop."

(From the Army and Air Force Exchange Service.)


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