Retailers Say Shoplifting Is on the Rise


The old image of the solo shoplifter is being replaced by a
new one where organized gangs of thieves are becoming
trouble for retailers.

The Bergen County Record reports that shoplifting
gangs are a growing problem and are contributing to the
billions retailers lose from shoplifting. Retailer
statistics show shoplifters are responsible for almost
$17.2 billion of the $42 billion stolen from retailers last
year, up from $10.2 billion in 2001.

“There’s been a huge increase in organized theft,” Nancy
Jones, director of loss prevention for Pennsylvania-based
Giant Food Stores, told the Record. “It has
mushroomed in the last seven to eight years.”

Nearly half the losses from shoplifting have been at
supermarkets and other food stores. Some thieves simply
walk out of stores with stolen goods. Others turn to
identity theft to obtain a credit card and then use that to
purchase gift cards to purchase merchandise, says Frank
Muscato, a member of Wal-Mart Stores’ national
Investigative Task Force.

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