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Criminal Justice Resources :

Shoplifting or Retail Loss Prevention

"Shoplifters and dishonest employees stole over $5.8 billion in 2005 from just 24 major retailers, according to the 18th Annual Retail Theft Survey conducted by Jack L. Hayes International, the leading loss prevention and inventory shrinkage control consulting firm. These surveyed retailers apprehended over 670,000 shoplifters and dishonest employees in 2005, and recovered more than $127 million from those apprehensions, a 17.3% increase over 2004 recovery dollars."
Source: Jack L. Hayes International

Shoplifting is our nation’s “silent crime”. Parents don’t want to believe it, schools don’t address it, retailers don’t want to talk about it, police don’t want to respond to it, courts don’t want to deal with it and the people who do the shoplifting either rationalize it as “no big deal” or are too ashamed or too afraid to admit it. As a result, shoplifting has become one of the most prevalent crimes in the U.S., averaging about 550,000 incidents per day resulting in more than $10 billion worth of goods being stolen from retailers each year. That is more than $25 million in losses per day. Current estimates are as high as 1 in 11 Americans who shoplift in our nation today. Even with all the advances in security measures, shoplifters are only caught once in 49 times they steal and when caught, turned over to the police only 50% of the time. This is due, in part, to the fact that there is a trend away from shoplifter apprehension and prosecution by retailers, law enforcement and the courts as a way to cope with increasing costs, time issues and legal liability. These issues and others lead to the majority of shoplifting incidents going unrecognized, unreported and unresolved. . .thereby perpetuating the problem. Even so, reported shoplifting offenses are currently on the rise according to the FBI Crime Index. The shoplifting dilemma is compounded by the fact that the crime is primarily committed by otherwise law-abiding citizens enticed by the temptation and opportunity to “get something for nothing” which presents itself as part of everyday life. More than 10 million people have been caught shoplifting in the last five years. This situation reflects an inherent defect in our societal values which opens a gateway to corrupt our youth and weaken our nation. Source: National Association for Shoplifting Prevention.

Arresting Shoplifters
Arresting juvenile shoplifters can help deter future criminal activity. Research brief by the Police Foundation.
(Last checked 02/27/12)

Books About Shoplifing in the MSU Libraries
(Last checked 02/27/12)

National Association for Shoplifing Prevention
The National Association For Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) is a private nonprofit tax-exempt [501(c)(3)] organization whose mission is to raise public awareness about the harmful effects of shoplifting on youth, families and communities, unite public opinion toward constructive solutions, deliver needed programs and services and engage community action in prevention efforts to improve the lives of those affected and reduce the number of people who become involved. The National Association For Shoplifting Prevention conducts research and offers communities technical assistance, training, education, prevention and rehabilitation programs with self-help and support services.
(Last checked 02/27/12)

Retail Loss Prevention Exchange
A web site for the loss prevention professional. Information is broken out into the following categories:

  • Upcoming conferences and events
  • Loss prevention products and vendors
  • Retailers on the web
  • Retail associations and organizations
  • News you can use (information exchange)
  • Loss prevention companies
  • Employment opportunities
  • Retail and loss prevention publications
    (Last checked 02/27/12)

    Problem-Oriented Guide for Police Series Guide No. 11, COPS, January 2002, NCJ 194798. (57 pages).
    (Last checked 02/27/12)

    Shoplifting Prevention 101
    No matter how big or small the retail store may be, all types of retailers are susceptible to the growing problem of shoplifting. This guide will help retailers identify shoplifters and shoplifting methods, create a less attractive environment for shoplifters and teach retailers how to implement shoplifting policies and procedures to protect their store against theft. Courtesy of About.com
    (Last checked 02/27/12)

    Shoplifting Resources
    (Last checked 02/27/12)

    Wikipedia Shoplifting Entry
    (Last checked 02/27/12)


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    Criminal Justice Specialist
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    Last revised 02/27/12
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