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Summertime is not time for shoplifting

Elina Bennet, assistant loss prevention manager and Jeff Heitchler and John
Keith of the Exchange Safety and Security Force, observe store shoppers
before calling the floor manager to report suspicious activity at the Kadena
Air Base Exchange on Okinawa, Japan, June 30, 2014. Andersen Air Force
Base's Exchange Loss Prevention program is regionally located on the island
of Okinawa. (Courtesy photo by Staff Sgt. Robert DeDeaux/Released)

Elina Bennet, assistant loss prevention manager and Jeff Heitchler and John Keith of the Exchange Safety and Security Force, observe store shoppers before calling the floor manager to report suspicious activity at the Kadena Air Base Exchange on Okinawa, Japan, June 30, 2014. Andersen Air Force Base's Exchange Loss Prevention program is regionally located on the island of Okinawa. (Courtesy photo by Staff Sgt. Robert DeDeaux/Released)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Throughout the year the Andersen Base Exchange loses money due to shoplifting.

To help combat theft, members of loss prevention take measures such as the Shoplifter Awareness Program, which teaches beneficiaries the consequences of shoplifting as well as educating them on the security systems in place.

When individuals are caught stealing from any installation on base, they may face losing privileges such as suspensions from the exchange, commissary and other base facilities. Also, the parents of the individual will be responsible for paying a fine.

"The military community as a whole suffers as a result of those stealing, in addition to the repercussions to individuals who shoplift," said Tina Billyzone, The Exchange at Andersen Air Force Base loss prevention manager. "By talking to the kids at Andersen Middle (School), I hope to instill the right values in them. I hope they think before they make the wrong move because I'd hate for their summers to be ruined from something as small as a game or even a candy bar."

The shoplifter awareness program is targeted for children ages seven through 13 but open to all ages. Children and their parents are able to take a tour of the loss prevention office so they can see the security system used to monitor the store and understand just how hard it is to steal without being seen.

"It takes teamwork amongst educators, families and the entire community to keep our Department of Defense Education Activity schools strong," said Jeff Arrington, assistant superintendent, DoDEA Pacific Guam District. "We appreciate the outreach of AAFES and the loss prevention program. This program has made positive impacts for both loss prevention and our communities."

Each time shoplifting occurs at the Exchange, other programs are affected. In the past 10 years AAFES was able to give back $2.4 billion to military quality-of-life programs. The amount would have been higher if people hadn't shoplifted.

"Shoplifting at the Andersen Exchange results in a reduced return on investment to our primary shareholders -- the military community," Billyzone said. "Because the Exchange has a mission to return earnings to quality-of-life programs, people who steal from the Exchange don't only harm themselves, but negatively impact family and morale, welfare and recreation command and service programs."

The shoplifter awareness program is also open to first term airmen as part of their inproccessing. Commanders are also encouraged to take their airmen on a tour of the loss prevention security office.

For more information on the loss prevention program or to get a tour of the office, call 366-1280.


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