Shoplifting (also known as retail theft) is theft of merchandise for sale in a shop, store, or other retail establishment, by an ostensible patron. It is one of the most common crimes that police and the courts deal with.
Most shoplifters are amateurs; however, there are people and groups who make their living from shoplifting, and they tend to be more skilled. Some individuals shoplift in an effort to resist selling their labor, and/or to protest corporate power. These individuals target --often exclusively-- chain stores; Wal-Mart is an especially popular target for political shoplifters.
A common slang term for shoplifting in Australia, Britain, and the United States is "five-finger discount". In the U.S., it is often referred to as "jacking" or "stealing"; those who sell shoplifted goods (at a steep discount) are referred to as "shoplifters." Professional shoplifters or organized shoplifting groups are often referred to as "boosters."
1 Economic impact and response from shops
2 Legal status in different countries
2.2 United States
2.3 England and Wales
3 Common Shoplifting Scams
3.1 Baby Stroller Boxes
3.2 Bag Switching
3.3 Booster Boxes
3.4 Cash Drawer Theft
3.5 Counterfeit Bill Passing
3.6 Fake Returns
3.7 Fitting Room Bagging
3.8 Gift Card Cloning
3.9 Grab and Run
3.10 The Milkshake Subterfuge
3.11 Metal-lined Clothing or Containers
3.12 Other Return Tricks
3.13 Receipt Matching
3.14 Self-checkout scam
3.15 Shopping Cart Magic
3.16 Shopping Cart Passing
3.17 Ticket Switching
3.18 Out the Wrong Door
4 Anti-shoplifting options
4.1 Closed Circuit Television
4.2 Electronic Article Surveillance
5 Famous cases
7 See also
8 External links
Economic impact and response from shops
Retailers report that shoplifting has significant effect on their bottom line, stating that about 0.6% of all inventory disappears to shoplifters. In 2001 it was claimed that shoplifting costs US retailers $25 million a day. Other observers, however, believe industry shoplifting numbers to be greatly exaggerated. Studies have found that over half of what is reported as shoplifting is either employee theft or fraud, and often justify shoplifting as a "victimless crime."
According to the 2001 National Retail Security Survey conducted by the University of Florida retail operations suffered an average annual shrinkage percentage of 1.75% in 2000. Although most retailers experience a shrinkage percentage of less than 2% some smaller retailers often experience monthly and annual average shrinkage percentages as high as 20%. According a study by the National Retail Security Survey 30.6% of shrinkage comes from shoplifting, 46% from employee embezzlement, 17.6% from administrative error, and 5.8% from vendor fraud.
Companies have introduced many technologies to combat shoplifting. Many stores have video cameras filming all areas of the store; larger stores are often patrolled by undercover investigators. Security devices are often affixed to products that set off alarms at the store exit if they are not deactivated or removed by a cashier.
According to the 2004 17th Annual Retail Theft survey conducted by Jack L. Hayes International 689,340 were shoplifters were apprehended by 27 of the major U.S. retailers. This figure was a 4.86% increase from total of 657,414 shoplifters apprehended in 2003. In 2004 $70,039,564 dollars were recovered from shoplifting apprehensions compared to $68,927,833 in 2003. In 2004 the average dollar value for a shoplifting apprehension was $101.60 dollars.
Shoplifting is classified under the Uniform Crime Report as a Part I offense of Larceny-Theft. Demographically, shoplifting is for the most part proportional to the population as a whole. Statistically speaking, 64% of all shoplifting incidents are committed by persons of Caucasian decent. This is in stark contrast to the stereotypical view...
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