Shoplifting is the act of taking an item from a store without paying for it. Usually, the item is hidden in a customers’ clothing or in a bag while they attempt to exit the shop. However, shoplifting can also include attempts to get a refund from a stolen item. It can also mean trying to switch the price tag on an item to get a lower price.
Although these incidents may seem rare, about $35 million dollars’ worth of goods are shoplifted every day around the world. Studies have shown that all shoplifting is done equally by both genders and by all races. They report that shoplifters also target all types of stores, from small convenience stores to big chain retailers. Rich people tend to shoplift only slightly less than poor people. An average shoplifter starts stealing when they are about ten years old and tend to be most active in their teens. Most shoplifters don’t set out to commit theft before they go to a store. They shoplift on impulse when they are in a shop. Many shoplifters say that the feeling of successfully stealing an item is like a drug “high” which makes them very excited.
Since shoplifting has become such a big problem in stores around the world, retailers have taken measures to try and stop it. Many stores now have video cameras that watch for suspicious activity. Security tags called “electronic article surveillance” are attached to many items to alert store staff when people attempt to leave the shop with something before paying for it. Store detectives disguised as shoppers also patrol many stores. They pretend to browse through the shop while keeping an eye out for shoplifters.