According to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, losses due to thefts from retail stores alone amount to more than $35 million a day. The Army and Air Force Exchange Service, which has contributed more than $2.4 billion to Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs in the past 10 years, continues to focus its efforts on reducing theft to maximize the investment authorized shoppers make in their exchange benefit.

Through an aggressive youth Shoplifting Awareness Community Outreach program, closed circuit televisions with DVR technology and high-tech electronic article surveillance, the Fort Bragg Exchange took “a bite out of crime” last year as shoplifting decreased 27 percent, from 261 incidents in 2010 to 191.

The value of merchandise involved in local loss prevention cases, however, increased from $19,523 in 2010 to $22,923.

If shoplifting is suspected, the Fort Bragg Exchange Loss Prevention Office turns the issue over to local law enforcement. In addition to possible disciplinary action and/or criminal prosecution, the Federal Claims Collection Act allows the Exchange to enact a flat, administrative cost (civil recovery) of $200. There may be further fees, in addition to the Civil Recovery Program, depending on the condition of the stolen merchandise.

The Army and Air Force Exchange Service is a joint, non-appropriated fund instrumentality of the Department of Defense and is directed by a board of directors which is responsible to the secretaries of the Army and the Air Force through the service chiefs of staff. The exchange has the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with quality merchandise and services at competitively low prices and generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military morale, welfare and recreation programs. To find out more about the exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases, please visit www.shopmyexchange.com.