On Sep. 13, a man suspected by campus bookstore employees as a recurring shoplifter was arrested outside the building.
According to the ULPD report, a theft occurred at the Cardinal Authentic Store at the stadium of more than $500 of merchandise.
The alleged shoplifter was identified by police as Lee Jeffrey. He was recognized by university police, who reported he had been at the Cardinal Authentic Store down Floyd Street then went north to the bookstore.
He matched the description of a man who took merchandise from the bookstore earlier that month, and police charged him on both counts.
The bookstore operations manager said Jeffrey has been casing the store for months. Charlotte Sandifer said Jeffrey, along with another man not yet caught – is well known at the store.
“I started working here in February, and we’ve had sporadic issues with this gentleman and another gentleman,” said Sandifer.
Sandifer describes their behavior as similar, and said she has stopped both of them herself in some scenarios.
“He grabs everything that quick and easy,” she said.
Sandifer spoke specifically about a time when she prevented him from stealing a stack of U of L hats. “I came back around as was like, ‘Hey sir, were you wanting to check out?” She said he put down the hats and left.
“It’s not opportunity theft,” Sandifer says. “He knows what he’s doing. He’s coming in to steal.”
According to Wave 3 News, the football jerseys stolen from the stadium were worth $800, and the baseball jerseys stolen from the bookstore $750.
From what she’s heard, Sandifer says this is not an isolated incident at all.
“I’ve heard from different stores across campus that they’ve had issues with this same guy for years,” she said.
To take measures to prevent this in the future, Sandifer says her employees will simply improve customer service. She said the added attention usually deters potential shoplifters.