SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Following a string of thefts at My Sister's Closet locations in Scottsdale, the owner of the consignment store is modifying her COVID-19 mask policy to help catch any future thieves.
Initially, Ann Siner was considering banning masks altogether, but decided against that, and says the policy will be to ask anyone who’s wearing a mask to pull it down briefly as they enter the store.
For more than a year, masks were required in many area businesses to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Now, while masks are not always required, some continue to wear them as a precaution.
In a few cases, the masks are causing more harm than good.
My Sister's Closet had two major thefts in a matter of days at its Scottsdale stores. One of the suspects is clearly visible in security camera footage, while the other is hidden behind a mask.
"They're taking advantage of a situation with COVID, because pre-COVID, if you walked into any store with a mask on, somebody would have stopped you," Siner said. "Now, it's just the norm. Nobody questions it."
One of the thefts occurred at her north Scottsdale location and the other at Lincoln Drive and Scottsdale Road. The thieves stole expensive coats from the first location, and four designer handbags from the other.
"We saw the guy walking out the door with the bags. My employees were not to chase him. We could not tell which car he got into," Siner said.
Now employees are requiring customers wearing a mask to pull it down for at least a few seconds before shopping.
"So we have their full face on video. So if they decide to shoplift or steal later on, we have them on video," she said. "It sounds crazy but we have caught a lot of thefts on our cameras.
Siner says they are doing their best to make everyone have a safe and happy experience. "We want to accommodate people, so walk in, pull your mask down, then pull it back up and shop all you want with us."
During Black Friday sales, My Sister's Closet locations will have security guards as an added precaution.
Siner is also offering a $5,000 reward for tips leading to the arrest of those involved.
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