HAVERTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Haverford Township police say the search continues for a 66-year-old man who led officers on a chase after he stole from a local grocery store.
On Friday, August 4, police responded to a theft at the ACME on West Chester Pike.
They say Robert Dixon, who has addresses in both Philadelphia and Upper Darby, was caught stealing from the store for a third time.
When police followed Dixon, he sped away.
They followed him into Upper Darby Township where officers blocked him.
Police say Dixon took off and rammed several cars in the process. They say everyone in those cars is OK.
In addition to the theft charges, police say Dixon is also facing charges from Upper Darby as a result of striking the vehicles.
According to police, Dixon has been stealing a large amount of soap and alcohol. At ACME, they say he has snagged about $1,400 worth of merchandise.
Police say Dixon has had 33 prior convictions for retail theft.
Joseph Hagan, the deputy chief of Haverford Township Police, says retail theft "seems to be a crime that just keeps going up and up."
Hagan says there has been a 161% increase in retail thefts in Haverford Township in the past two years.
Several local police departments have recently posted about retail thefts.
In Bucks County, Lower Southampton police say there have been three thefts at the same ACME in Feasterville over the past couple of weeks.
In Philadelphia, our 6abc data team found there have been 258 retail theft arrests this year, which is up about half from this time last year.
According to statewide statistics recorded by Capital One, Pennsylvania retailers lose an estimated $2.64 billion in annual revenue to theft.
Criminal justice attorney Joseph Lento weighed in on what could be causing the increase in crime.
"If people think they have carte blanche to act out or do what they want without recourse, then certainly it can encourage people to do just that," Lento explained.
Deputy Chief Hagan added, "Some stores are laxed on their policies of making an arrest, confronting the individual, or trying to prevent the thefts from occurring."
Hagan says Haverford Township police have been working with stores in the area to get them to increase security at their front doors and record car tags in their parking lots.