More Broome County stores are locking up common products like shampoo and soap in an ongoing battle to keep merchandise from being stolen.

CVS and Walgreens stores have been taking more action in an effort to reduce shoplifting incidents.

Corporate officials from the national chains are reluctant to speak publicly about the problem but store employees acknowledge the difficulty in ensuring people pay for the things they want.

Merchandise on locked shelves at a Binghamton Walgreen store. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
Merchandise on locked shelves at a Walgreens store at 85 Robinson Street on Binghamton's East Side. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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In the past, stores occasionally locked up things like tobacco and stop-smoking products that were particularly attractive to thieves.

But shoppers now increasingly encounter locked displays on items that seem rather mundane. The policy means people interested in buying something must first track down a store employee to unlock the display.

Binghamton police last March released video clips showing three people loading bags with Dove brand soap products during a quick visit to a Walgreens store on Pennsylvania Avenue on the South Side. An investigator said the stolen items were valued at $240.

A scene from a security video at a Binghamton Walgreens store. Provided by Binghamton Police Department/Facebook
A scene from a security video at a Binghamton Walgreens store. (Provided by Binghamton Police Department/Facebook)
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Employees have told WNBF News they routinely observe shoplifting incidents but there's little that can be done because of store policies.

CVS Pharmacy has closed three Binghamton stores in recent years. The last city store to be shut down was on West State Street on the North Side.

Workers at the store told shoppers the decision to close the location was related to the high number of shoplifting incidents. But a spokeswoman at CVS headquarters in Rhode Island insisted the move was related to other factors.

CVS has been in the process of shutting down hundreds of its less profitable locations around the United States. The company has not announced whether it plans to shut down additional stores in Broome and Tioga counties this year.

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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com or (607) 545-2250. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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