Tucson-based retailer Summit Hut was recently the victim of a brazen gear-thief. On January 28th, surveillance cameras caught a woman ripping the sensor tags off an MSR stove with her teeth, quickly shoving the stove and several Sea-to-Summit items in her purse, and bolting out of the store. Watch as she appears in the top center of the frame (at :20) below.
The alarm sounded (presumably from the Sea-to Summit items) and an employee followed the woman to the parking lot and asked her to come back inside. It’s just my cellphone, she said, before jumping into an idling car and peeling out of the parking lot. The getaway happened so fast that the employee didn’t have time to get the license number.
Summit Hut opened its second location on Speedway Blvd. in October, but the store has seen an unusual amount of shoplifting since the move. “The store looks high end,” co-owner Dana Davis told SNEWS. “It’s pretty and it’s drawn a lot of attention and traffic, so it might feel, to a crook, that there’s a lot of opportunity here.”
Since opening, Davis estimates that $8,000 (retail) worth of merchandise has been stolen. One thief, trying to escape the store with four GoPro cameras which he had cut from their security wires, even pulled a knife on an employee.
Davis, who owns the store with her husband Jeremy, has had enough. "It just felt like it was time to do something. We work really hard to make shopping at our stores a fun, relaxing, easy experience, and we always try to give people the benefit of the doubt,” she said “But it's starting to feel like this store is getting targeted a lot." Summit Hut has posted the surveillance videos on their Facebook page and talked to a local news station in an effort to get the word out and deter future incidents.
"We hope that by posting the video and making noise thieves won't see us as an easy mark," said Davis.