Shoplifting on the Rise in Bad Economy
From the New York Times:
Police departments across the country say that shoplifting arrests are 10 percent to 20 percent higher this year than last. The problem is probably even greater than arrest records indicate since shoplifters are often banned from stores rather than arrested.
Much of the increase has come from first-time offenders like Mr. Johnson making rash decisions in a pinch, the authorities say. But the ease with which stolen goods can be sold on the Internet has meant a bigger role for organized crime rings, which also engage in receipt fraud, fake price tagging and gift card schemes, the police and security experts say.
Shoplifters also seem to be getting bolder, according to industry surveys.
Thieves often put stolen items in bags lined with aluminum foil to avoid detection by the storefront alarms. Others work in teams, with a decoy who tries to look suspicious to draw out undercover security agents and attract the attention of security cameras, the police said.
"We're definitely seeing more sprinters," said an undercover security guard at Macy's near Oakland, Calif., referring to shoplifters who make a run for the door.
A previous post listed the most frequently shoplifted items: small, expensive things with a long shelf life.
EDITED TO ADD (1/13): Maybe shoplifting isn't on the rise after all.
Posted on December 29, 2008 at 2:52 PM • 24 Comments