Wikinvest Wire

Shoplifting to make ends meet

Thursday, June 19, 2008

USA Today reports on the increase in shoplifting over the last year or so that appears to be driven, to some extent at least, by a weakening job market and sharply higher consumer prices (that is, sharply higher consumer prices that appear everywhere but in the government's "official" inflation statistics).

Apparently, it has become more difficult for some families to make ends meet and they are doing what most humans do - adapting.

Retail and law enforcement experts agree that they've seen an increase in store theft during the current slowdown — and not only from customers.

"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."
"Unfortunately, it's to be expected that when the economy moves into a slowdown, and families have difficulties meeting week-to-week and month-to-month bills, shoplifting is going to go up," says Bruce Hutchinson, professor of economics at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Most police departments don't collect data on the profiles of shoplifting suspects. But some who deal directly with the problem say they've detected a shift.

"In general, the shoplifter of the past was mostly trying to fuel a drug habit," says Sgt. Alfred Pratt of the Shrewsbury, Mass., Police Department. "But we've seen a change as the economy has declined. More common, everyday items are being stolen, such as groceries."
Shouldn't the gubment be readying another one of those cheese give-aways by now?

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Anonymous said...

Purely limited observation, but I live in a part of Manhattan that is still up and coming, just hasn't quirte made it. I've lived here for 11 years, before it started its rise. I see many more homeless and panhandlers on the street now than I have in years. To me that is a sign that things are not getting any better.

Anonymous said...

Funny - I have a nephew who is a broker at a large firm - He told me this am that we don't have 'real' inflation. I had to laugh - in Los Angeles where food, energy and housing are up a couple of hundred percent over the last couple of years... last week I had someone try to steal my bag at the farmer's market and witnessed another person stealing items out of another person's bag - had to notify the police... according to the police, this is a new development : )

Anonymous said...

there's a foodbank down the street from me. they have to turn people away empty handed because they just don't have enough food for everyone.

Anonymous said...

An increase in customer and employee theft you say? Oh, that is bad, call the police, begin an investigation, arrest some one, anyone, do something.

Us owners are the only ones allowed to do any stealing

Anonymous said...

i regularly shop lift groceries. gotta eat. no moral qualms here. at least im not involved in state sanctioned murder..heh

Anonymous said...

Cheese is too expensive to give away these days. Maybe we can just print more dollars and give them away for use in the bathroom.

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