Regardless of the protective progress retailers and solutions providers are making, thieves are still carrying off billions of dollars’ worth of goods annually. While merchandise loss costs retailers huge amounts of money, theft-driven product out-of-stocks, and sometimes locked-up goods, it also deters sales to good customers. Happy, buying customers are Read More
Shoplifting & Organized Retail Crime
To shoplift is to knowingly obtain goods or merchandise from an establishment in which they are displayed for sale, without paying the purchase price. This act can include carrying, hiding, concealing, or otherwise manipulating merchandise with the intent to steal it.
Organized retail crime (ORC) deals with professional shoplifters, crime networks, cargo theft, Internet crimes, and other organized criminal activities that occur in the retail setting. These highly organized, often mobile, and sometimes complex structures and hierarchies provide a tremendous threat to the retail industry.
ORC involves the association of two or more persons engaged in illegally obtaining retail merchandise through both theft and fraud as part of an unlawful commercial enterprise. The primary objective of these professional crime rings is to target retailers across a geographical area or cyber network, stealing from these organizations for the purpose of turning products into financial gain, rather than for personal use.
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Shoplifting and organized retail crime issues are the most common contributors to external shrink, having developed into a multibillion-dollar problem that ultimately affects each and every one of us. Not only do these losses affect a company’s bottom line in a variety of different ways, but they also impact us as consumers in the form of higher prices, fewer choices, greater inconveniences, and a reduction in services as businesses attempt to find ways to fight external theft incidents and recover damages.
Shoplifters are not bound by age, gender, race, social background, or any other traits that make us unique and distinctive as human beings. This type of theft isn’t always based on need, and many different incentives may influence the motivation to steal. While every situation has its own merits, the motivations for shoplifting can be as different as the individual.
ORC groups are commonly involved in sophisticated, well-planned shoplifting incidents, check and credit card scams, manufacturing fraudulent receipts or price tickets, gift card scams, cargo theft incidents (where goods are stolen or hijacked during transit), and a host of other organized theft events. These criminal activities have become a nationwide problem occurring at an increasing scale, costing retail companies and consumers billions of dollars every year.
It is a common misbelief among shoplifters that an individual must exit the store with unpurchased merchandise before being civilly liable for statutory civil damages. It is also a common misbelief among those shoplifters that if the merchandise is not physically damaged, they would not be liable for civil damages.The Read More
In last week’s LPM survey, we discussed a store clerk that ended up in jail after turning the tables on a theft suspect in north Nashville, TN. According to police, a shoplifter turned shooting victim claimed to have a gun in his jacket pocket and ran out the door with Read More
Cops and robbers. Good guys and bad guys. The dichotomy in the loss prevention world seems simple enough: bad people doing illegal things and good people trying to stop them. While the complexities of what makes a person good or bad are too extensive to debate here, one commonly assumed Read More
The loss prevention associate finally caught them red-handed. For three months, he had been trying to catch these shoplifters in the act. This time, he saw it happen. The male removed the frying pan from the box. He filled the box with Blu-ray discs and resealed it, leaving it on Read More
Interviewing active shoplifters is the most interesting part of my job. For an hour, I speak as seldom as I can. I listen, and I observe. What they have to say is fascinating. Their actions and mannerisms weave together with their words like a code waiting to be cracked. Why Read More
While society often imagines the shoplifter as someone stealing food or toiletries out of necessity to survive, often this is not the case. In fact, one study notes that socio-economic status is not an accurate predictor for potential shoplifting.
Many habitual shoplifters report stealing almost twice a week, and shoplifting is Read More
According to the 2016 National Retail Security Survey, US businesses lost around $45.2 billion in 2015 to retail theft, more than 1.38 percent of overall sales, making retail theft one of the leading issues facing retailers today.
Shoplifting and ORC Fraud Rings
According to the National Association of Shoplifting Prevention (2006), more Read More
Shoplifting in Fitting Rooms
Will shoplifting in fitting rooms continue to be a problem given new technologies and laws?
By Bill Turner, LPC
Any loss prevention professional who has worked is a store that sells apparel is probably familiar with customers shoplifting in fitting rooms. But how much do you know about changing Read More
In what one former prosecutor termed “historic,” a habitual shoplifter who was set to be arraigned on a misdemeanor petty theft charge, had his bail increased from $5,000 to $50,000 based on information provided to the LA city attorney’s office by ALTO US, a risk management technology company that provides Read More
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