Retail Theft Essay

I. Outline-Retail theft A. Introduction ” Excuse me, sir/madam can I check your bag please? ” “Lifting”, “jacking”, “racking”, “nicking”, “boosting” and Five finger discount”,  are some of the slang terms used for retail theft (also commonly known as shoplifting). Shoplifting is theft of goods from a retail establishment. It is one of the most common property crimes dealt with by police and courts.

In the next few minutes, I will provide you information on the statistics of shoplifting, some reasons why people shoplift, common shoplifting methods, and ways stores can reduce shoplifting. II. Interesting things to know B. Statistics 1. There are approximately 27 million shoplifters (or 1 in 11 people) in our nation today. 2. Approximately 25% of shoplifters are kids and 75% are adults. 3. Six percent of all inventory disappears due to the theft. 4. Shoplifters say they are caught an average of only once in every 48 times they steal. They are turned over to the police 50 percent of the time. 5. Habitual shoplifters steal an average of 1. times per week. C. Types of shoplifters and reasons 1. Unfortunately, there is no typical profile of a shoplifter. Thieves come in all ages, races and from various backgrounds. Many shoplifters are amateurs; however, there are people and groups who make their living from shoplifting, and they tend to be more skilled. 2. Approximately 3 percent of shoplifters are “professionals” who steal soley for resale or profit as a business. 3. The vast majority of shoplifters are “non-professionals” who steal, not out of criminal intent, financial need or greed but as a response to social and personal pressures in their life. . Many steal for the excitement generated from “getting away with it” which produces a chemical reaction, what shoplifters describe as an incredible “rush” or “high” feeling”. III. Common Shoplifting methods D. Distraction 1. A group of two or more will enter the store and try to distract as many employees as they can to keep them occupied. They may ask for help or ask about a specific product, while the accomplice goes toward specific merchandise of interest and will wait for a perceived safe time to steal.

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E. Demagnetise 1. Merchandise that has a magnetic tag on it (mostly DVDs and CDs) is demagnetised in the store by the shoplifter so that it will not set off an alarm. F. Half Technique 1. The shoplifter walks into the store and takes two of the desired soft light items (like underwear), then opens a bag to make it appear as though he is getting money out to pay for the item; instead he drops one of the items into the bag, and puts the second item back to suggest a change of mind. G. Tag Ripping 1.

This is when a shoplifter grabs an item, and holds it in their hand for a while. The shoplifter pretends to look at other items while holding the item they want to shoplift firmly in their hands. When employees are not present, the shoplifter finds a blind spot from cameras and mirrors to rip off the tag. Once it is ripped off, the shoplifter places the ripped tag in the shelves and puts the item in their pocket. Once they exit the store, the alarm is not set off because the tag was ripped off. IV. Ways retailers can reduce shoplifting

H. Check out and Tidy up The easiest way for retailers to discourage theft in a store is by taking away opportunities to steal. A little thought into the store’s layout and design can prevent theft before a loss occurs. 1. Design the store lay out so customers must pass the register area and staff to exit the store. Never leave the register unlocked or unattended. Do not display merchandise near the store exits. 2. Keep the store neat and orderly. Full displays and straightened shelves allow employees to see at a glance if something is issing. I. View all 1. Use mirrors to eliminate blind spots in corners that might hide shoplifters. Maintain adequate lighting in all areas of the store, keep fixtures and displays low for better visibility. 2. Use security equipment such as closed circuit television and security tags. J. Lock and key 1. Place small, expensive items in locked cabinets or behind the counter. Rest rooms and dressing areas should be watched at all times. Keep dressing rooms locked and limit the number of items taken in by each customer.

Use alarms on unlocked exits and close or block off unused checkout aisles. K. Signage 1. Signs and posters reinforcing security messages should be used. Post anti-shoplifting signs like ‘Shoplifters Will Be Prosecuted’ in clearly visible locations. V. Conclusion Shoplifters steal from all types of stores. Shoplifting affects more than the offender. It overburdens the police, courts, adds to a store’s security expenses, costs consumers more for goods, costs communities lost dollars in sales taxes and hurts children and families.

In 2001, it was claimed that it cost US retailers more than $25 million per day. Today more than $13 billion worth of goods are stolen from retailers each year . That’s more than $35 million per day and the amounts keep growing. Works Cited Nonperiodicals Horan, Donald J. The Retailers Guide to Loss Prevention and Security. Boca Raton: n. p. , 1996. Print. Thomas, Chris. Loss Prevention in the Retail Business. Hoboken,NJ: Wiley, 2005. Print. Web sites, e-sources


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