STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) -- Shoplifting is on the rise at major retailers nationwide, but small businesses are not immune.
"Generally, I am the most trusting person in the world. So I've really learned a lot opening the business," said Rebecca Schneider, who owns Turtle Lane Gift Boutique.
A recent survey shows major retailers caught over a million shoplifters last year, up from the year before; however, shoplifting is not only limited to big stores.
Small business owners in Staunton said it's something they have to watch out for as well.
"Independent businesses are much tighter on finances than someone that might be a national chain," said Ron Ramsey, who owns Bookworks.
Smaller businesses also have things working in their favor.
"You're out in the open. You can't get lost in the aisles with nobody around," said Ramsey.
Schneider said she had about $200 dollars worth of merchandise stolen last year and has now moved smaller items to the front of the store.
"I'm a Momma Bear with that, and I will not tolerate that sort of thing. So that's why we have a great security system and keep an eye out," said Schneider.
Schneider also said when things are stolen, the owner has to eat the cost, which in the long term can mean higher prices for you, the buyer.
"Overall I think that there really is so much good in everyone, and that's just one of those little blips that happen along the way," said Schneider who understands that it's part of her costs for doing business.
Schneider also said Staunton business owners have a sort of neighborhood watch Facebook group, where they post if something suspicious has happened in their shop. That way, their fellow owners can keep an eye out for it too.
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