Police have caught 14 people shoplifting, including two kids, during an operation at Charlestown Square.
Thursday’s operation saw 14 people arrested, with eight charged with 18 offences, including larceny, possess prohibited drug, possess knife in a public place, and goods in custody.
Four people received criminal infringement notices.
Two youths were dealt with under the Young Offenders Act.
Lake Macquarie Commander, Superintendant Daniel Sullivan, said the influx of customers at this time of year can create an opportunity for shoplifters.
“The Christmas period can often be seen as an opportunistic time for potential shoplifters to target retailers while staff members are busy and general traffic through the shopping precincts is high,” Supt Sullivan said.
“I can assure the community that we are committed to continuing our operations that target shoplifting and this sort of criminal behaviour will not be tolerated.”