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Shop Express, a convenience store on 14th Street NW in Columbia Heights, has adopted a new shoplifting-prevention policy. After a rash of thefts in 1998, store manager Tariq Mahmood started taking Polaroid snapshots of alleged shoplifters and displaying them behind the store’s counter. Until last month, the scrapbook vigilantism extended even to kids suspected of pilfering candy and soda. Now, however, Mahmood has stopped the kiddie photo shoots.”We don’t have [pictures of] little kids anymore. We had a couple of them. But we’ve taken them out,” says Mahmood. The shift to adults-only finger-pointing should facilitate the local trade in junk food. “Kids will say…’I can’t go to the store to get you a soda because my picture up in there,’” says a volunteer at the nearby Metropolitan Police Boys & Girls Club. —Bidisha Banerjee