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Los Angeles business owner turns to social media to find and shame shoplifters

Fed up with shoplifters and burglars, the owner of a lifestyle boutique in Los Angeles has chosen to publicly shame and expose thieves via social media as a way to catch them and discourage similar acts. 

Fraser Ross, the owner of Kitson, has done detective work for a while now by creating online posts using surveillance footage and gathering up information about the criminals. Ross has gained attention this week after exposing an influencer shoplifting at his Pacific Palisades location.

He created an Instagram post with video of Sofia Arevalo inside the store with her friend, Patrick Moogan, who hands her a hat as she stuffs her Lululemon bag with Free City clothing items.

“I guess it’s public shaming, but I don’t know what to do,” Ross said. “We just came to a point that this is what we have to do.”

He exposed her name, place of work and frequented locations in a follow-up post.

“If everyone passes this around, businesses around LA can keep her profile and ban her from their establishment if they want as she is a menace to society,” Ross wrote in the caption. “Erewhon, be very aware. She loves Nobu and all the fancy restaurants.”

Another discovery he made was that Arevalo was a public figure with over 50,000 followers on Instagram. She has now made her account private.

“When you see all these smash-and-grabs, you aren’t seeing your usual suspects,” Ross explained. “They’re very wealthy people with expensive cars, expensive jewelry, expensive handbags, living the life of luxury.”

Arevalo eventually went back to Kitson to return two shirts and paid for the hat she had previously stolen.

Anisha Tedake, a previous shoplifter at the same location, reimbursed close to $1,000 in stolen items after being exposed online. 

Ross contacted law enforcement for both incidents but believes more should be done to prevent these crimes. 

“It’s not enough to say it’s gone,” he said. “You need to arrest anyone that’s stealing and put that message out there.” 

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Source: NBC Los Angeles

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