NEW SPRINGVILLE — Shoplifters caught and convicted for stealing from the Staten Island Mall's stores will have their mugshots displayed on digital screens around the building in a bid to prevent sticky-fingered shoppers from striking again during the holidays, prosecutors announced Wednesday.
District Attorney Dan Donovan sponsored the campaign, which is in its sixth year at the mall, to deter people from shoplifting during the holiday season.
"We're going to arrest you, we're going to prosecute you, and next year your picture could be going up on the screen," Donovan said.
Donovan said the mall will place 11 kiosks around the mall with digital screens with constantly rotating mug shots that change every 45 seconds to show people that the DA takes shoplifting very seriously, and will prosecute offenders to the fullest extent of the law. The screens will show five mugshots at a time, but will not name the offenders, prosecutors said.
Donovan estimated that the pictures will be shown around two million times this year.
"Two million times people will see their photographs and realize this is part of their punishment for what they've done," Donovan said. "Shoplifting is not a victimless crime."
Some merchants who joined Donovan to unveil the campaign said that shoplifting in the mall is a large problem for them. The theft prevention manager at Sephora, who did not want to give his name, said they convicted 120 shoplifters this year, and was happy with the campaign and Donovan's support.
Gerald Amerosi, owner of the Pandora Store, said he only had one shoplifter this year. He credited the campaign with helping decrease the number of incidents from previous years.
"The monitors worked," Amerosi said. "I think it has helped, and it made me aware of people that are in the mall that are bad guys, which I would never know."