Declining Economy Blamed As Shoplifting Rises


Shoplifting seems to be rising at many retail chains, and experts are blaming the sputtering economy, says USA Today. “It’s clear that both employee theft and shoplifting are up,” says Richard Hollinger, professor of criminology at the University of Florida, who compiles the annual National Retail Security Survey. “The most recent rise is being driven by the economy. A lot of people are on the financial edge.”

When 116 retailers were surveyed recently about shoplifting, 74 perecent said they believed that shoplifting incidents last year had risen from 2006, says the National Retail Federation. When a smaller group of retailers were asked about shoplifting so far this year, nearly all said it has continued to rise, says the federation’s Joe LaRocca. Rretail theft is estimated to cost about $40.5 billion a year. Most shoplifters in the pst were “trying to fuel a drug habit,” says police Sgt. Alfred Pratt of Shrewsbury, Ma. “But we’ve seen a change as the economy has declined. More common, everyday items are being stolen, such as groceries.”


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