SOUTHLAKE (CBSDFW.COM) – Just in time for the holiday shopping season, the Southlake Police Department is testing a unique way to stop potential thieves.
For the past two weeks, a life-size cardboard cutout of a Southlake officer greets customers (or would-be shop lifters) at Southlake Jewelers. It has an HD Nest Cam and a sign alerting people that police are monitoring the video.
“He’s our guardian at the front door,” said Bill Baker, co-owner of Southlake Jewelers. “He looks kind of real when you first walk in or if you’re walking down the sidewalk.”
The cutout is six feet tall and looks realistic.
“I want him to catch your eye,” said Officer Brad Uptmore. “I want you to walk in, and I want you to look and see him – that way we get that full face if you’re up to something.”
A clear picture of the person will help police catch the thief if they go on to commit a crime, but the hope is to prevent any shoplifting in the first place.
“Going into the holiday season, when sometimes desperate people get a little more bold, a little more desperate, that hopefully if they’re kind of on the edge, they’d see something like this and think twice,” Uptmore said.
It’s a creative way to address the city’s most common crime – theft. Southlake Jewelers hasn’t had any crime at the store since the cardboard cutout has been up.
The cutout is a likeness of Officer Roderick Page, who has worked for the department for 17 years.
He says it’s humbling to see himself in life-size form, and he’s optimistic it will help other businesses.
“If we can get one business at a time and deter criminals from coming to Southlake, that would be a great thing,” said Page.
Police want to expand the program. Businesses in Southlake that are interested in having their own cardboard officer can reach out to the department to submit a request.