Crimes against retailers should get Fayette’s attention


There has been a vigorous Fayette County discussion on organized crime coming to our county. Recently, the Lululemon store in The Avenues shopping center was robbed shortly after the Lululemon store in Gwinnett County was robbed.

The organized thieves go around the metro area hitting one store after another fully aware that their chances of getting away with the crimes are very good. The corporate hierarchy lays down strict rules for employees not to react to robberies in progress and allows the criminals to raze the store and steal whatever they desire.

Rules vary by store for staff calling 911 or taking other protective maneuvers. In some cases, interaction with the police and filing reports is hindered.

It can leave our community vulnerable

There are several obvious problems resulting from free-spirited organized crime sprees. First, emboldened criminals keep coming back. Second, stores eventually vacate the area when the criminal activity reaches a certain point. Third, criminals are always a danger to the general public whether through violent assault or reckless driving on our roads while fleeing the scene.

If you want to see precisely how fast the situation can deteriorate in a community, I strongly suggest you watch this video from what is currently happening on the west coast, see:

Major retailers in the US have been forced to shut down store locations due to millions of dollars in losses due to organized theft. In 2021, companies lost a combined $94.5 billion to shrinkage, a term used to describe theft and other types of inventory loss.

Stores including Walmart, Macy’s, Target, Walgreens, and others have left communities that failed to address the crime situation, leaving their citizens with fewer opportunities to buy groceries, medications, and other goods.

Some are fighting back to save the communities

In neighboring Alabama, organized retail thieves have become so brazen that the state legislature created legislation entitled “Retail Theft Package” that increases the punishment for those who commit such crimes. “This package is hope for businesses for some relief from the suffering that they’re [retailers] undergoing right now because there is really nothing that we can do to help them right now,” says Barry Matson, Executive Director of the Alabama District Attorney’s Association.

The Alabama legislation also addressed the liability issues business owners can face when trying to stop a thief.

What can Fayette citizens do?

Make time to contact our District Attorney in Griffin Judicial Circuit, Marie G. Broder. Communicate to her that we will not accept plea deals and request that her staff push for maximum sentencing in the courts. The facsimile number for the office of the District Attorney is 770-716-4857. DA Broder’s official email address is

You can also contact Georgia House Rep. Josh Bonner at Ask him to please take a look at the legislation from Alabama and other states to see how we can curb this kind of illegal and dangerous activity in our state.

Let’s not emulate those disastrous policies of the states and urban areas that went soft on crime, causing stores to leave, and increasing peril for the local citizens.

[Brown is a former mayor of Peachtree City and served two terms on the Fayette County Board of Commissioners. You can read all his columns by clicking on his photo below.]


  1. My suspicions are this is a corporate policy thing. Large chain or franchise stores probably have strict guidelines for dealing with the human garbage that shoplifts with impunity. I’m sure this comes down from the corporate lawyers and their insurance companies to *not* engage or confront shoplifters. I’m thinking you’re more prone to see reactions from independent shops than responses from the likes of Lululemon, et. al. It wouldn’t take much; the sound of a 20 ga being racked can quickly change the mind of all but the dumbest of dumb. Oh, I know, a total pipe dream. But as John Fogerty was want to lyricize; “I think we need a gun slinger …somebody tough to tame this town.” If security is truly a concern for these stores and shopping areas, then it only makes sense to hire private security to provide roving patrols.

    • It’s a shame, but normally the cost of some pilfered clothing pales in comparison to the expense of taking the problems into a court room or God forbid a hospital. I would also love to see thieves brought to justice.

    • I like the idea but not exactly possible to have roving patrols…next best is to make sure all video and cell phone data is collected…cameras all over the county see every car and its movements…then law enforcement can react,

  2. Common sense would indicate that ignoring crime is the same as condoning and perhaps, even encouraging crime… stores that ignore shoplifting are part of the problem! I am not inclined to shop at stores that don’t take shoplifting seriously!

  3. Common sense would indicate that ignoring crime is the same as condoning and perhaps, even encouraging crime… stores that ignore shoplifting are part of the problem! I am not inclined to shop at stores that don’t take shoplifting seriously!

  4. Totally agree with Mr. Brown
    Someone should come up with a community petition asking local stores to pledge to fully prosecute and cooperate with law enforcement every time there is a theft.
    This would establish each business as a supporter of community standards…they could display a door sticker and placards informing customers and bad guys that we don’t play around with law breakers.
    Maybe ask the city council to come up with a PTC community standard for how we expect businesses to fight theft.