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Encyclopedia > Shoplifting

Shoplifting (also known as commercial burglary) is the theft, or attempted theft, of merchandise for sale in a retail establishment, by an ostensible patron. It is one of the most common crimes for police and courts. Image File history File links Emblem-important. ... Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... Olympia, Washingtons Shoplifting is composed of members Hannah Blilie (drummer), Chris Pugmire (vocalist and guitarist), Devin Welch (guitarist), and Melissa Lock (bassist). ... Olympia, Washingtons Shoplifting is composed of members Hannah Blilie (drummer), Chris Pugmire (vocalist and guitarist), Devin Welch (guitarist), and Melissa Lock (bassist). ... Straw were a British pop band that released one album, Shoplifting, in 1999. ... Shoplifting is an album by UK indie band Straw, released by WEA in 1999. ... A young waif steals a pair of boots “Stealing” redirects here. ... Drawing of a self-service store. ... A trial at the Old Bailey in London as drawn by Thomas Rowlandson and Augustus Pugin for Ackermanns Microcosm of London (1808-11). ...

Many shoplifters are amateurs; however, there are people and groups who make their living from shoplifting, and they tend to be more skilled. Some individuals may even shoplift to protest corporate power. Such individuals target--often exclusively--chain stores like Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. ...

A common slang term for shoplifting in Australia and the United States is "five-finger discount". In the U.S., it is often referred to as "jacking" or "racking" and in the UK as "nicking" or "chaving". Professional shoplifters or organized shoplifting groups are often referred to as "boosters." Slang is the use of highly informal words and expressions that are not considered standard in the speakers dialect or language. ... Look up chav, charva in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


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 cost 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. Image File history File links Emblem-important. ... Shrinkage has multiple meanings, depending on the context. ...

According to the 2006 National Retail Security Survey conducted by the University of Florida, retail operations suffered an average annual shrinkage percentage of 1.57% in 2006[1]. 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 to 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. [citation needed] This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...

According to the 2004 17th Annual Retail Theft survey conducted by Jack L. Hayes International, 689,340 shoplifters were apprehended by 27 of the major U.S. retailers. This figure was a 4.86% increase from a 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. [citation needed]


There can be numerous reasons given for shoplifting. Commonly, shoplifters steal high valued items such as beauty products and alcoholic beverages, with the intent of either selling them on for profit or simply taking them for their own leisure. Shoplifting can also, for those in poverty or who are short of money, be seen as a last resort for getting food to survive on. There are also smaller groups of people who either simply get a thrill out of stealing (or are kleptomaniacs) or do not want to be seen buying certain "embarrassing" products (e.g. condoms or home pregnancy tests). Kleptomania (Greek: κλέπτειν, kleptein, to steal, μανία, mania) is an inability or great difficulty in resisting impulses of stealing. ... This article is about the male contraceptive device. ... A modern pregnancy test A pregnancy test is a test to determine whether or not a woman is pregnant. ...

A common rationalization for engaging in shoplifting is that items are overpriced and that honestly paying for items serves only to line the pockets of executives, and thus should be considered a form of protest. This argument is dispelled by the fact that loss in stores serves only to hurt honest customers with higher prices, as well as possibly already underpaid staff in the form of pay cuts to cover the loss. On many occasions, shoplifters prefer to target larger shops and corporations, since stealing from an ostensibly faceless corporation tends to dehumanise the specific deed, enabling shoplifters to rationalize that they are not really hurting any single individuals. This principle is sometimes called "ethical shoplifting". In rare cases, shoplifting is used as a direct protest, in that it causes an actual loss to the store rather than being merely neutral as with a boycott. Look up Rationalization on Wiktionary, the free dictionary Rationalization can refer to more than one thing: In psychology, rationalization is the process of constructing a logical justification for a decision that was originally arrived at through a different mental process. ...


Some shoplifters (who are almost invariably - and erroneously - labelled as suffering from kleptomania) are persons who clinical investigator Dr. Will Cupchik has labelled 'Atypical Theft Offenders'. These usually honest persons may steal in response to personally meaningful losses and/or other stressors. His book, Why Honest People Shoplift or Commit Other Acts of Theft (2002) provides data and conclusions of two studies conducted by Dr. Cupchik, as well as assessment and treatment methods. The major reasons that these persons should not be labelled as kleptomaniacs has to do with the fact that there are virtually always external triggering events that can be identified as just preceding the theft activity, and the fact that the stealing is virtually always an act of vengeance carried out in anger (although seldom recognized as such by the offender). The existence of an external trigger and the feelings of anger and desire for vengeance are factors that, according to the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, would exclude the diagnosis of 'kleptomania'. A small number of shoplifters may be influenced by their use of benzodiazapine medications.[2] Kleptomania (Greek: κλέπτειν, kleptein, to steal, μανία, mania) is an inability or great difficulty in resisting impulses of stealing. ...

Anti-shoplifting options

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. Loss prevention is a form of private investigation into larceny or theft. ... For the use of the term Electronic article to mean an electronic version of a journal article, see:electronic article Electronic article surveillance is a technological method for preventing shoplifting from retail stores or pilferage of books from libraries. ...

Famous cases

Probably the most famous legal case involving shoplifting occurred in 2001 when actress Winona Ryder was arrested for shoplifting at Saks Fifth Avenue department store in Beverly Hills, California. Ryder was eventually convicted of misdemeanor theft and vandalism.[3] Winona Ryder (born October 29, 1971) is a two-time Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe-winning American actress. ... Saks Fifth Avenue is a chain of upscale American department stores that is owned and operated by Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises (SFAE), a subsidiary of Saks Incorporated. ... The interior of a typical Macys department store. ... Beverly Hills redirects here. ...

In 2003, Will & Grace actress Shelley Morrison (who played Rosario Salazar) was arrested for shoplifting at a Robinsons-May store in California; the charges were later dropped. Will & Grace is a popular Emmy Award winning and Golden Globe nominated American television sitcom that was originally broadcast from 1998 to 2006. ... Shelley Morrison (born October 26, 1936 in New York City) is an American actress. ... Rosario Inez Consuelo Yolanda Salazar (also known as Rosie and Ro-Ro) is a character on the American television sitcom Will & Grace. ... Robinsons-May was a chain of department stores operating in Southern California, Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada, previously with headquarters in North Hollywood, California. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Largest metro area Greater Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ...

In early 2006, former White House aide Claude Allen was arrested for an alleged return scam at a Target store in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Jean Eaton, while mayor of Albert Lea, MN, was accused of stealing hundreds of dollars worth of clothing from Marshall Field's stores in Rochester, Edina and St. Cloud in an alleged clothing swap scam. Eaton had claimed that police acted illegally when they executed a search warrant that gathered evidence used to support a felony theft charge against her. Eaton later reached a plea agreement with Olmsted County prosecutor's by entering into an adult diversion program, which includes restitution, and possibly community service to have the felony charges dropped. For other uses, see White House (disambiguation). ... Claude Alexander Allen, Former Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy Claude Alexander Allen (born October 11, 1960) was the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy in George W. Bushs White House and a former nominee for a judgeship on the United States Court of Appeals for the... Refund theft is a type of crime, related to shoplifting, which involves returning goods to a retailer, in exchange for money or other goods. ... This article is about the United States retail company. ... Location in the State of Maryland Coordinates: , Country United States State Maryland County Montgomery Founded 1802 Incorporated April 5, 1878 Government  - Mayor Sidney A. Katz Area  - City  10. ... For other uses, see Marshall Fields (disambiguation). ...

In 2004, Canadian Member of Parliament Svend Robinson admits to stealing expensive jewelry at a public jewelry sale. A former NDP house leader and Canada's first openly homosexual Member of Parliament, he announces he will not seek re-election.[4] Svend Robinson Svend Johannes Robinson (born March 4, 1952) is a Canadian politician and prominent activist for gay rights. ...

Shoplifting in Popular Culture

Morrissey, along with his band The Smiths, wrote a song entitled "Shoplifters of the World Unite", with a pro-shoplifting theme.


  1. ^ Dr. Hollinger. "2006 National Retail Security Survey". University of Florida. Retrieved on 2007-10-05.
  2. ^ Williams R, Dalby JT. (1986). "Benzodiazepines and shoplifting". International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology 30: 35-39.. 
  3. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/film/3821355.stm
  4. ^ "MP Svend Robinson admits theft, takes stress leave. Retrieved on 2007-11-06.

Abbott Howard Abbie Hoffman (November 30, 1936 – April 12, 1989) was a self-identified communo-anarchist,[1] social and political activist in the United States, co-founder of the Youth International Party (Yippies), and later, a fugitive from the law, who lived under an alias following a conviction for dealing... Cover of Steal this Book Steal This Book is a book written by Abbie Hoffman in 1970 and published in 1971. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... For other uses, see 5th October (Serbia). ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 310th day of the year (311th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


  • Budden, M. C., "Preventing Shoplifting Without Being Sued", 1999, ISBN 1567201199
  • Christman, J. H., "Shoplifting;Managing the Problem", 2006, ISBN 1887056634
  • Hayes, R., "Retail Security and Loss Prevention", 1991, ISBN 0570690380
  • Horan, D.J., "The Retailer's Guide to Loss Prevention and Security", 1996, ISBN 084938110X
  • Kimieckik, R., C., "Loss Prevention Guide for Retail Businesses", 1995, ISBN 0471076368
  • Sennewald, C.,A., "Shoplifters vs Retailers", 2000, ISBN 1890035181
  • Thomas, C., "Loss Prevention in the Retail Business", 2005, ISBN 0471723215

See also

  Results from FactBites:
Shoplifting IS Stealing (611 words)
Shoplifting across the country is on the rise.
Shoplifting is a common element in the criminal history of countless inmates and drug addicts.
Research shows that successful shoplifting prevention is achieved through early intervention and through the integrated efforts of parents, law enforcement professionals, educators, retailers, churches, families, friends and honest consumers.
  More results at FactBites »



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