Wilmington store owner catches shoplifters on camera, shares images on social media

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Kelsey Gibbs, who owns The Wondershop in Downtown Wilmington, is not quiet about crime and recently posted a video after she chased a woman who stole a pair of shoes.

The shoes she stole are worth $125, but for Gibbs it’s about so much more.

“We have faith in our little community here, so when it happens it’s just like no,” Gibbs said.

A Wilmington store owner has eight cameras in her store and isn't shy about tracking shoplifters on social media. (WECT)
A Wilmington store owner has eight cameras in her store and isn’t shy about tracking shoplifters on social media. (WECT)

For anyone who walks inside of her store, they will be greeted with colorful clothing, bags and shoes, but also signs that read “Smile, you’re on camera.” Gibbs has eight security cameras all throughout the store.

For those who get caught shoplifting, Gibbs isn’t shy about the situation. After posting on social media, she will get even more personal, by reaching out to the person directly.

“I would just say hey I have you on camera, you can either bring them back and pay me for them, or I will file charges,” Gibbs explained.

Most of the time it works, and the items come back to her store, if the shoplifter is younger, she will get the parents involved.

“Having a conversation with the mom, has been the most effective,” she said.

She feels that it is important to give people a second chance to do what’s right.

“When we have a face to face conversation with that person, that persons family, we can really be like hey that hurt my feelings or this is wrong why did you do this?” she explained.

While some may find her methods unconventional, as long as she is a small business owner, Gibbs plans to stand up for what she feel is right.

“This is in your own community, you wouldn’t want it done to you, just normal stuff, normal golden rule stuff,” she said.

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