'Tis the Season to ... Pinch $1.84B Worth of Stuff?

Retail theft in 4 weeks before Christmas expected to be 6% higher than 2010
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2011 3:57 PM CST
'Tis the Season to ...Shoplift $1.84B of Stuff?

(Newser) – In the four weeks before Christmas, shoppers will steal an estimated $1.84 billion in merchandise—a 6% spike over the same timeframe last year, according to a survey of retailers around the globe. The bump in shoplifting may be explained by dipping wages and high unemployment, reports the AP. It also doesn't help that teeming, chaotic shopping centers staffed with harried clerks make it easier for thieves to filch products.

story continues below

"It's really a question of need versus greed," says one retail expert. "People will rationalize what they are stealing: 'Oh, I'm feeling the economy. I lost my job.'" Experts also indicate that people shoplift in December for reasons unrelated to personal finances, such as thrill-seeking or to relieve boredom or depression, which can flare up during the holidays. An estimated one in 11 Americans shoplift, and 70% would describe their crime as spontaneous. (Read more holidays stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.