Police officers in Leland are trying to take a bite out of crime, especially crimes against area businesses. Shoplifting, breaking and entering, and fraudulent checks are just a few crimes officers are cracking down on. We've all heard of a neighborhood watch. Officers in Leland say a business watch is one way business owners can look out for one another. "While you're home sleeping, they're thinking of a way to steal from you,” said Daniel Teachey of Piggly Wiggly. The Piggly Wiggly in Leland has been a victim of crime as of late, from customers using fraudulent checks, to shoplifting. Manager Daniel Teachey says it seems to be getting worse. "They're generating their own business checks, cashing them with state made ID's, that seems to be a growing problem, and of course it's not getting any better." These crimes aren't just happening at the Piggly Wiggly. That's why Leland Corporal Robert Ernest is doing something about it. "Times are getting a little desperate, and they are looking to make a quick buck,” he said. Ernest is jumpstarting a crime prevention program called the Leland Business Watch. It's kind of a like a neighborhood watch, and he hopes it will encourage business owners to keep an eye out for one another. "The communication will be opened up between the business owners and the police department and we'll have some structure to go by,” Ernest said. Just last week, someone attempted to steal from Teachey's store, but the would-be-thief didn't get too far before police stopped her. It's that fast communication that this business watch program hopes to foster. The Leland Police Department has been going door-to-door, educating business owners on the new program. Their second meeting will take place next Thursday at Thunder Alley at 6:00 p.m.
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