GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – The Greenville Police Department is making it easier and more convenient for businesses to report crimes such as shoplifting.

You can do so through their online incident report system by logging onto their website from a web browser or in their app.

In the heart of Greenville, you can find people flurrying around, in and out of downtown shops.

“It’s just a matter of keeping an eye on everyone as things are starting to pick up and things are getting back to normal,” said Justin Smith.

Smith and his wife own The Spice and Tea Exchange in Greenville. They said, at times, petty crimes such as shoplifting, goes unreported. Sometimes, they said, it will even go unnoticed until it’s reviewed on surveillance video. By that time, they are left questioning who to call.

“In the past, it’s been kind of touch-and-go. Who do you call? It’s not an emergency but it’s not, not an emergency,” said Smith. “We always have kind of felt bad about contacting police because you didn’t want to pull them away from more important crimes that are occurring.”

On Thursday, Greenville Police went live with a new online reporting system for those who experience crimes similar to the Smiths’. Within it, businesses can submit a report without having to wait for an officer to respond to their location.

The online system will take you through a checklist of items to ensure that what you are reporting is eligible to be submitted online.

Police said the crime submission should meet the following criteria:

  • The crime was committed in the city of Greenville
  • The crime does not involve violence or physical injury to any party
  • The value of the property or damage does not exceed $2,000
  • The stolen property is not a vehicle or firearm

“The purpose of it is mainly for businesses,” said Sgt. Johnathan Bragg, with the Greenville Police Department. “They can go on and report already completed thefts and shopliftings; anything that is less than $2,000 to that site and upload their videos and photo and any other information they may have.”

It’s as simple as logging on, filling out a form, then waiting for an investigator to follow-up.

In the meantime, police said it will free up your own personal time and allow officers to tend to other calls.

“The main goal is to make sure the people that are reporting the crime are not having to wait a long time to get a case number and also not having an officer responding out when there is something more pressing they need to tend to,” said Sgt. Bragg.

According to police, once the report is submitted, detectives will review your information and provide you with a case number. You will also receive information from the Victim/Witness Services Unit.

Police said the online report will be just as if an officer responded the scene. We’re told an investigator will follow-up with you the next day.

According to Greenville Police, officers respond to many retail thefts during the summer months with school being out.

This online system is one way they can make sure the crimes don’t go unreported.