VIDEO: Lakeshirts shows mercy to shoplifters

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. -- There's no doubt that many stores have issues with shoplifting, and many turn to law enforcement to deal with the culprits. But, one lakes area store breaks the mold when it comes to this crime.

If you've ever taken a stroll down Lake Shore drive in Detroit Lakes, chances are you've seen this place. Lakeshirts has been on the Detroit Lakes beach for over 30 years. When you've been in the business that long, you develop some unique policies even around things like shoplifting.

Last summer, Lakeshirts caught a few kids stealing from the store. Instead of prosecuting them or pressing charges, they took matters into their own hands. After striking up a deal with the kids parents, they put them to work.

The culprits were required to work in the t-shirt factory, instead of having the crime add to a criminal record.

"I thought it was a neat way to think outside the box, a way to handle something in a different and productive way," Detroit Lakes Police Chief Steve Todd said.

We asked the folks at Lakeshirts if they wanted to comment on their unique take on the legal system, but they declined. The Detroit Lakes Chief of Police on the other hand, not only assured us he approves in a legal point of view, but he's all on board as a parent too.

"As a father I think the means that Lakeshirts is using to solve this problem really extends some mercy land grace to the people involved and I like seeing that I think that is needed in our society and you don't always have to move to a criminal resolution for every thing. Sometimes we can handle things in the way Lakeshirts is handling it," Todd said.

Maybe this proves that sometimes the best solution to a problem is just good, honest, hard work.

Chief Todd does believe this approach will only work if the shoplifters are local residents.