Sticky Fingers on the Rise During Hard Times

 

By Sara Shea

While some are out looking for a second job to earn a little extra cash during these tough economic times, others are taking a less legal route to make ends meet. According to an nbcnewyork.com article, shoplifting is on the rise due to the failing economy.

Grocery and retail chains are being hit the hardest. According to the article at nbcnewyork.com, “One skint New Yorker has shoplifted close to $30,000 of gourmet groceries from markets like Whole Foods.”

 

Specialty grocery stores like Whole Foods Market are especially prone to shoplifting during winter months. Large coats and baggy layers make concealing stolen goods easier.

Specialty grocery stores like Whole Foods Market are especially prone to shoplifting during winter months. Large coats and baggy layers make concealing stolen goods easier.

 

 

Not only are thieves robbing stores blind; they are actually giving others tips on how to get in on the action. In the same article, an anonymous shoplifter offers advice to others hoping to score a five-finger discount on their next grocery trip. The “Biggest mistakes you can make include not getting to know a store’s camera system, rushing, and hitting grocery stores close to where you live.”

In addition to grocery stores, retailers are also feeling the heat. Marist sophomore Lauren Bis has witnessed how detrimental shoplifting can be first hand. “I work at Victoria’s Secret and there is at least $100 in merchandise stolen each week,” Bis said. “This summer there was actually a shoplifting ring busted at my store. There were five women who would steal thousands of dollars worth of merchandise from my store and three other stores close by.”

According to an article published in the New York Times, “A Better Business Bureau study puts the losses from shoplifting to businesses across the country at $8 billion to $16 billion a year. The amount varies because of different estimates on how much shoplifting goes undetected, but the study concluded that each family in the United States pays 10 percent of its retail dollars to cover shoplifting thefts.”

 

Legal consequences of shoplifting can include any or all of the following penalties: jail or prison time, punitive fines, community service hours, and more. Offenders are often prohibited from entering the place of business from which they stole goods.

Legal consequences of shoplifting can include any or all of the following penalties: jail or prison time, punitive fines, community service hours, and more. Offenders are often prohibited from entering the place of business from which they stole goods.

 

 

At Marist, measures are being taken to ensure the cafes and the bookstore do not fall victim to petty theft. New cameras have been installed in all of the cafes on campus to help protect the businesses from shoplifting

“I wouldn’t say I’ve noticed an increase in theft since the recession started,” said Theresa Kilmer, lead retail supervisor at the Cabaret. “However I think the cameras have scared any potential thieves away.”

Sodexho, the school’s food supplier, installed the cameras in September in an effort to deter students from stealing. The company installed similar cameras in every school they service.

“I would say since the cameras have been installed I’ve personally only caught 1 or 2 students stealing,” Kilmer said. “Last year students were getting greedy. The second you would turn your back they would fill there bags and bolt.”

Though measures are being taken across the country to discourage shoplifters, budget cuts and layoffs give thieves easy access to goods. In addition to theft, credit card fraud has also seen a rise since the dawn of the recession in September. Retailers nationwide are doing their best to minimize loss and prevent future issues.

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