Shoplifting on the Rise in a Shaky Economy
In a survey conducted by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), 84 percent of surveyed national chain stores reported an increase in shoplifting since the beginning of the recession.
The Washington Post reported about 80 percent of survey respondents said organized retail crime had also jumped, and more than half said robberies and burglaries have risen.
Retail crime typically increases during the holiday season as store staff their shops with temporary, less trained employees. However, retailers and law enforcement officials say the economic downturn is resulting in more frequent and more aggressive crimes.
Retailers lost an average of nearly $35 billion, or about 1.4 percent of their inventory, to theft in 2007, according to an annual survey conducted by the University of Florida. During the most recent recession in 2001, so-called shrinkage rates averaged 1.8 percent. Results for this year will not be available until 2009.
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