Video shows brazen Paper Store thefts, CEO calls for stricter penalties

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ACTON – Acton-based The Paper Store is calling for stricter penalties when it comes to shoplifting after several instances of theft across their New England stores.

The Paper Store CEO Tom Anderson told WBZ-TV that they’re not dealing with teenage pranks or low-level shoplifters.

“These are organized retail criminals and there’s big money in it. They can steal these products, they can sell it on the black market,” Anderson explained, “unless there are consequences.” 

Surveillance cameras captured the brazen thieves in the act. A woman was calm as can be, seen opening her bag and swiping several popular Stanley tumblers off the display at the Glastonbury, Connecticut Paper Store – seemingly unfazed by the sales associate looking on. 

Paper Store theft
Video shows woman allegedly stealing Stanley tumblers from The Paper Store in Glastonbury, Connecticut

CBS Boston

“They know there’s really no consequences to their actions, so they don’t have to rush. They don’t have to hide it,” Anderson said.

It’s a rampant problem. His Massachusetts locations have been the target of theft 17 times within the past month. 

“The city of Boston in particular is up 12%,” said Ryan Kearney, the Retailers Association of Massachusetts’ general counsel.
Shoplifting – up since before the pandemic – in New England and nationwide. 

“The more as we treat this as a non-issue, the more brazen folks become,” Kearney said. 

Retailers, like The Paper Store, are calling for tougher penalties for shoplifters. 

Paper Store Theft
A woman allegedly steals Bogg Bags from The Paper Store

CBS Boston

“I think the state needs to work aggressively on this,” Anderson said. “It’s not just the Paper Store that’s being hurt, it’s all the local retailers. We know there are retailers that are closing their doors because the theft is so bad.” 

He’s taking aggressive steps to protect his employees, customers, and products. 

“We’re spending tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars to secure the goods,” he said. 

From locking up the highly coveted water tumblers in the stock room, to installing high resolution security cameras. Anderson is trying his best to prevent theft, by helping police identify shoplifters. 

But that can only go so far. 

“When you have folks who are repeat offenders,” Kearney added, “we need some stricter laws.” 

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