JOPLIN, MO.--- Electronics, cash and checks normally top the list of items thieves target most in Joplin. In March, the Joplin Police Department saw a big jump in food thefts. While that's normally just a few cases a month, last month it jumped to more than a dozen reports. That includes both items stolen from grocery stores, as well as diners who didn't pay for their meal. In all, it added up to 16 cases in March.
"That's about double of what we've seen in the past. And obviously, we don't know what's driving that number, but that is a significant increase in that particular item," said Jason Burns, Joplin Police Chief.
The trend pushed food thefts into the top five for the month, along with electronics, cash or checks, clothing and purses or wallets.