(Memphis) He sounds like a career shoplifter, but investigators call Jonathan Conroy a 'booster.'
“When you have a booster this is their profession. They will actually take orders from people outside in the community other business owners drug dealers and they will go out and sell these items,” Sgt. David Ballard said.
They say this booster has been arrested 57 times.
He was arrested Wednesday for stealing a Jambox, Bose headphones, and other items from Targets all over Memphis.
“One of the things he likes to steal is washing detergent so when he goes and does time in jail we can see a drop in that and our retailers see it,” he said.
And retailers know who he is. When WREG went to the Target on Highway 64, security knew exactly who we were doing a story about.
“We have a monthly meetings. I guess you would call it round table meetings between law enforcement and retailers all get together and we bring cases in and it’s kind of comical when his face pops up and everybody knows his name everybody knows him,” he said.
Shoplifters costs retailers $2.5 billion a year, and investigators say the City of Memphis has one of the worst problems in the country.
So it won’t surprise you that Conroy is not the only booster the Shelby County A.L.E.R.T team is on to.
Lavelle Moore is another name most retailers know. He has more than 20 arrests.
Investigators say he’s known for stealing electronics.
So how do boosters like Moore and Conroy continue their crimes?
"In a case like this (Conroy’s) this guy knows the system, he knows when he goes into a store he knows exactly how much to steal. He’s doing the math he keeps it under that felony threshold so he qualifies for a misdemeanor,” Ballard said.
This time Conroy is accused of taking over $500 worth of stuff.
That's a felony. He’s held on $50,000 bond in the Shelby County jail.
Sgt. Ballard wants changes to the law so these boosters will serve more time for their costly crimes.
“I think the penalties need to be stiffer especially for repeat offenders,” he said.
It is costly for customers, too. Store owners typically pass on the costs of shoplifting to consumers in the form of higher prices.