One store at Wauwatosa's Mayfair mall has received some extra attention from law enforcement lately.
Since February, at least 17 incidents of retail theft have been reported at Sephora, a cosmetics store located on the mall's first floor, said Lt. Brian Zalewski of the Wauwatosa Police Department.
'We started seeing the increase in February,' said Zalewski. 'There was nothing and all of a sudden, there's a bunch of (thefts).'
Recent thefts date back to mid and late May. From May 24 to May 26, five people were cited for retail theft at the store, according to police reports. In one incident around 5 p.m. May 24, a woman was cited for $489 in retail theft. On May 25, a juvenile was cited after taking $597 worth of merchandise, according to reports.
One police report from May 12 indicated a woman was cited for $1,053 in retail theft at the store, located within the state's largest mixed-used shopping center on Mayfair Road and North Avenue. The mall is managed by General Growth Properties, which also operates Oakwood Mall in Eau Claire and Fox River Mall in Appleton.
Zalewski said it appeared the thefts were not related to one another and that most of those individuals cited didn't have 'huge criminal records,' he said.
'It looks like they're just walking and taking stuff off the shelf and leaving,' he said.
Mayfair General Manager Chris Jaeger wouldn't discuss public safety measures used by the mall 'because by doing so (we) would compromise our efforts,' he said in an email. The safety and well-being of visitors and mall employees are top priorities and not just when a retail theft occurs, he said.
'We have a customized public safety program that entails different measures for various scenarios,' said Jaeger, who was hired in April, replacing longtime and now retired general manager Stephen Smith.
'Some of the measures are visible to our shoppers, like our trained security team and relationship with the Wauwatosa Police Department; other measures are not as visible. We constantly review and evaluate our security procedures to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone who walks through our doors.'
In Wauwatosa police reports compiled between June 5 and 11, there were no new incidents of theft at the cosmetics store.