In most states, intent is the driving factor in determining whether to charge a shoplifter.
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 second misbelief was addressed in an article entitled “No Damage Does Not Mean No Damages.”
This article only addresses the first misconception. It is not intended to influence store policy or suggest a departure in the world of loss prevention from well-thought-out policies designed to both increase the likelihood of successful criminal prosecutions and protect retailers from frivolous civil claims and litigation from those committing acts of theft.This article also only addresses civil law and is not intended to describe the required legal elements for or the higher burden of proof that must be met to prove a criminal case for theft… Read the full article.
Shoplifting, organized retail crime and internal theft all contribute to retail loss.
Loss prevention and retail industry professionals have a responsibility to stay informed about the latest retail theft statistics. This article provides a snapshot of what retailers currently face when it comes to loss and theft.
Inventory shrinkage refers to the difference between the merchandise a retailer shows in its records and the actual physical count of merchandise on hand. This difference can be attributed to operational errors, internal loss, and/or external loss. Shrink is an inevitability in the retail environment, but loss caused by retail theft is something LP and AP professionals work hard to prevent… Read the full article.
A new law causes retail theft to jump.
On Election Day in California, November 14, 2014, a crowd gathered outside a courthouse wearing fake handcuffs and carrying signs saying “End Mass Incarceration.” On that day, California passed Proposition 47, which would reduce punishment for more than one million people.
Passing by a 60 percent to 40 percent margin, the bill was intended to reduce overcrowding in the state’s prison system and treat low-level criminals with more compassion. As part of the bill, shoplifters would now have to steal over $950 worth of goods to be charged with a felony. Penalties for drug possession and writing bad checks were also reduced. In the early stages, Stanford University’s Justice Advocacy project found that Proposition 47 had reduced the state’s prison population by 13,000 and would save the state $150 million in the first year… Read the full article.
Shoplifters age just like the rest of us.
For many years, the stereotype of the amateur shoplifter has been a juvenile shoplifting offender pilfering candy, makeup, and other minor items from retail establishments seeking a deep discount or a cheap thrill at the expense of a neighborhood store or market.
Those of us in loss prevention have long preached that the deeper concerns of the retail theft epidemic that results in tens of billions of dollars in losses each year has little to do with a juvenile shoplifting a candy bar, and more to do with the complex challenges facing the retail community. We discuss the broad scope of criminal activity from the growing concern of organized retail crime, the ongoing reach of employee theft and fraud, credit card issues, robberies, burglaries, the frustrations of paperwork errors, the complexity of data breaches and e-commerce incidents, and a host of other concerns that contribute to the retail shrink problems faced by businesses across the globe… Read the full article.
LP professionals should be well versed in shoplifting techniques.
When asked “What is a shoplifter?”, most readers of the LPM Insider probably have a pretty good idea of how to respond. I do too, but it’s interesting what you learn (or re-learn) when you actually do some research on the subject. If you look up the definition of shoplifting, you will find different variations in wording. Some reference larceny, some concealment, and others talk about intent. But the basic definition boils down to this: shoplifting is the “theft of merchandise from a store or place of business.”
The terms “shoplifting” or “shoplifter” are not usually defined by law. The crime of shoplifting generally falls under the legal classification of larceny and can be a misdemeanor or felony depending on the dollar amount stolen. State by state, larceny laws vary greatly. For the average person, shoplifting is sometimes confused with burglary or robbery. However, all three are different. Burglary refers to unlawful entry into a building with the intent to commit a crime, especially theft. If a burglar is successful, they will not come in contact with another person. Robbery, on the other hand, is the taking of something (usually money or merchandise) using force or fear. Other forms of retail theft, such as price switching and refund or credit card fraud, are not usually lumped into the shoplifting category. Experts believe shoplifting is common because it is a relatively unskilled crime with low entry barriers that can be fitted into a normal lifestyle… Read the full article.