12/01/2014

Christmas Shoplifting





With this being December 1st, 2014, it is the time of year when people lose what common sense they possess.  People tend to forget there are people out there to rob them blind of all their Christmas gifts and what money they have in their wallet or purse.  But, what really is a concern for most merchants, this time of year, is Christmas shoplifting.  Desperate people do desperate things this time of year.  People who ordinarily would not even think of stealing will do so this time of year.  Shoplifting (customer, employee and organized retail crime) is a $120 billion loss to retailers each year. In the four weeks leading up to Christmas, as much as $2 billion in merchandize is stolen.  People are shoplifting during the Christmas season, for the most part, because they are unable to buy gifts for loved ones.

It is estimated as many as 45% of shoplifters caught during this four week period are parents stealing gifts for children.  It appears to be an increased problem over the past five years due to a terrible economy and millions that are still unemployed or underemployed.  So, how are these people stealing merchandize?  The most common method is to simply put the items in a buggy and walk out of the store.  Most are out the door and into a waiting car before they can be stopped.  Another common method is the old backpack way. Enter the store with a backpack or just steal one in the store.  Fill it with the merchandize you want and walk out the store.  If you are caught, either drop the backpack in the store and run or try to talk your way out of it.  Running away seems to be the most popular of the two.  In either case, if you are caught, you are going to jail.  Chances are you will serve from 2 to 5 years in prison depending on the amount of merchandize stolen.

I realize how horrible it is to not have money to buy gifts for your children or girlfriend or boyfriend or whatever the case.  But, as bad as things are for you now, things will be even worse if you are caught shoplifting.  Christmas is a time of joy and happiness.  It is difficult to be joyful if you are not able to participate in this joyous holiday season.  I get that.  But, during this time, retailers employ extra people to watch for shoplifters.  More and more security cameras are installed now.  It is extremely difficult to shoplift in the major retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target or Sears.  In small retailers, such as the Dollar General stores, they make things difficult also.  I know how they do it now.  But, I don't want to give away how they stop shoplifters.  Instead of shoplifting during Christmas, please consider the Toys for Tots campaign, the Salvation Army and a whole host of charities that will help you during Christmas if you qualify. There is no need to shoplift.  All you have to do is exert yourself during this time to help your family and loved ones out.  Don't give in to temptation to shoplift at retailers during Christmas.  It is not worth it!

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