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Businesses owners have eye on theft ahead of Lexington Barbecue Festival

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LEXINGTON, N.C. -- The annual barbecue festival draws in thousands of people from all over the state each year.

With them could come sticky fingers, but not from the barbecue sauce. The festival gives an opportunity for theft with so many people in the area at once. Businesses are prime targets.

"It gets pretty crazy in there, it really does," The Candy Factory Co-Owner Leigh Foster said.

She said they get thousands of customers.

"We do about a week's worth of business in one day," Foster said.

Just a few blocks away, the Backyard Retreat is also busy with people. It's perfect time for thieves to steal but that won't happen, at least not on their watch.

"We usually have an extra person at the door," Co-Owner Tom Tussey said. "Kind of security to make sure everything is good coming and going."

He said they always come up short on the inventory list the day after the festival in recent years.

"It's never really been really bad for us thank goodness, but it happens some," Tussey said.

Foster has hired someone to stand guard at the front door.

"We have to get a police officer and that's mainly to control the crowd," Foster said.

Being proactive is a must before the huge crowds arrive.

Tussey says they try to keep the small items well out of reach, but the bottom line comes down to honesty.

"We want folks to enjoy the place, but pay for what they buy," Tussey explained.