Retail advocate to focus on shoplifting in Albuquerque

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Some people are frustrated with the locked up merchandise in stores. They think big retailers are punishing paying customers, while they let thieves walk out the door with stolen goods because they don’t want a confrontation.

Now, there is a man they are working closely with, who revealed the new way they are trying to stop shoplifters.

Trei Gilpen is doing something new:

“Being a victim advocate for retailers,” said Gilpen.

Gilpen works for Alto, a company that sells legal services to some of the biggest retailers in the nation. For example, Target, Walmart, and Walgreens.

For the last year and half, he’s focused on shoplifting.

“It not only affects the bottom line, but it does affect the safety of the community,” said Gilpen. 

The former Bernalillo County prosecutor joined the current district attorney in announcing changes to how small misdemeanor shoplifting cases would be prosecuted.

“A lot of people think ‘Oh, you know, these are just drops in the bucket for enormous businesses.’ But I’ll tell you, all those misdemeanors, all those drops in the bucket – they add up,” Gilpen said. 

Gilpen follows cases like the Tyler Thompson’s. He is accused of stealing more than $15,000 of merchandise over a long period of time.

Thompson didn’t show up to court, but Gilpen did. He makes his appearance on behalf of the store that got ripped off – and follows the case to the end.

“It’s great, because a lot of times my client’s interest are the communities’ interest,” said Gilpen. 

While businesses will often watch as stolen goods walk out the door, Gilpen says this is how companies are fighting back.

“Retailers are doing things like hiring us, hiring Alto. They have hired a team of attorneys nationwide to help them with these cases,” said Gilpen.