EAU CLAIRE Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – The owner of Jacobson’s Ace Hardware is concerned about an uptick in retail thefts.

“So, over the last few years, it’s just increased tremendously.”

Here is one theft caught on camera. It’s one of many that prompted Jacobson to ask customers for their help and ask them to say something if they see something.

“We don’t want anyone getting in any altercations or anything like that. We just want a couple more sets of eyes. We don’t have a giant staff to just watch security tapes.”

Jacobson also worries about the safety of his employees.

“It’s frustrating. It’s hard to deal with. And it’s putting our staff in some safety risk situations with these people pushing past them and running out the door. We consider every one of them a dangerous situation. We don’t know if there’s a weapon involved or something like that.”

High end tools and other pricy items are things Jacobson says get stolen a lot, costing the business thousands of dollars in losses.

“The tools are currently locked up with a key except for our display models. And they have wires on them, and they’re cutting the wires and taking those. We’re going to just adjust those displays and we don’t want to have to do that.”

A spokesperson with the Eau Claire Police Department says they have responded to many calls about retail theft. Jacobson says while some suspects have been caught and arrested in the past, more needs to be done.

“It’s a concern that this could escalate even further if we don’t start deterring this action.”

Law enforcement recommends everyone, in general, stay vigilant and report any suspicious activity to law enforcement. A spokesperson with the Eau Claire Police Department stresses businesses should have a policy in place regarding whether shoplifters will be prosecuted. Saying that policy usually needs to be in place before an officer can respond.