Essays on retail theft

In fact lack of morality and reason when acting sinfully may be considered a less taboo and more public contemporary topic. Shoplifting is quite prevalent—perhaps even predominant-- amongst our privileged population. Stealing is not often motivated by deprivation a la Les Misearables; rarely do we find petty theft. At the root of this problem there are many factors like inflation, over priced mark-up, and quantity of the product.

But the one thing that should not lead to higher prices is shoplifting. Shoplifting is a plague that is sweeping this nation.

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Because shoplifting has become such a problem, stores are forced to raise prices to make up for lost sales. This is not their fault, however, few people put the blame where it belongs. The thieves that plague our economy are to. Home Page Research Shoplifting Essay. Shoplifting Essay Words 4 Pages.

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Shoplifting When someone steals merchandise offered for sale in a retail store it is generically called shoplifting. To commit shoplifting one must "intend" to permanently deprive the merchant of the value of the merchandise. Shoplifting most often occurs by concealing merchandise in a purse, pocket or bag but can occur by a variety of methods.

Most shoplifters are amateurs. However, there are growing numbers of people who make their living by stealing from retail stores. Amateur shoplifter can be highly skilled, and some steal almost every day, but don't do it to make a living. Most amateurs are …show more content…. Children and elderly persons sometime steal without realizing they are committing a crime. In urban cities, it is not unusual to find a network of "fences" who send out teams of shoplifters into specific retail stores to shoplift specific items, much like filling an order for a customer.

The fences only pay cents on the dollar to the thieves and sometimes pay their room, board, and provide training on how to steal and defeat the anti-theft technology.

Some fences have been known to bail their workers out of jail when caught or provide for their legal defense. This creates a kind of strange street loyalty much like the tale of Oliver Twist. Theft from stores, including employee and vendor theft, cost retailers many billions of dollars per year. The EAS system will warn of a potential shoplifter and the video may provide evidence for prosecution if the shoplifter is allowed to pass checkout points or leave store premises with unbought merchandise.

Many stores will use public-view monitors in the store to show people there that they are being recorded.

That is intended as a deterrent to shoplifting. Some stores use inexpensive dummy cameras. Even though these fake cameras cannot record images, their presence may deter shoplifting. Electronic article surveillance EAS are magnetic or radio-frequency tags that sound an alarm if a shoplifter leaves a store with store items that have not been paid for. Some stores also have detection systems at the entrance to the bathrooms that sound an alarm if someone tries to take unpaid merchandise with them into the bathroom.

Regularly, even when an alarm does sound, a shoplifter walks out casually and is not confronted if no guards are present because of the high number of false alarms, especially in malls, due to "tag pollution" whereby non-deactivated tags from other stores set off the alarm. This can be overcome with newer systems and a properly trained staff.

Some new systems either do not alarm from "tag pollution" or they produce a specific alarm when a customer enters the store with a non-deactivated tag so that store personnel can remove or deactivate it so it does not produce a false alarm when exiting the store. However, spider wrap may be used instead of tags. Some tags are stuck onto merchandise with glue rather than being superimposed on the shoplifter can easily scrape off the tag in their pocket.

Pedestal EAS covers, which are made of durable vinyl, offer cost-effective means of adding a marketing tool at every entrance to a store; they are also custom-manufactured to fit any pedestal and can be printed to highlight specific brands or seasonal promotions. They do not interfere with the performance of the EAS systems and are easily cleaned or changed.

Effects of Shoplifting in the Society Essay

Stores may employ technology to detect jammers and magnets. If a product with an active RFID tag passes the exit scanners at a Walmart outlet, not only does it set off an alarm, but it also tells security personnel exactly what product to look for in the shopper's cart.

Add-on metal detector systems will be used in some stores with electronic article surveillance which sense metallic surfaces. They are used to deter the use of booster bags which are used to shield EAS tags. Store detectives patrol the store wearing plainclothes and acting as if they are real shoppers. They may browse, examine, carry, or even try on merchandise, all the while looking for signs of shoplifting and looking for possible shoplifters.

Many large retail companies use that technique. Store detectives will watch a shoplifting suspect conceal an item, then stop them after they have exited the store. Those types of personnel must follow a strict set of rules because of very high liability risks. Many big retail or grocery stores like Walmart , Rite Aid , Zellers , and Loblaws have a store detective to watch for shoplifters. Most of those stores use secret verbal codes over the PA system to alert management, other loss prevention personal and associates that there is a shoplifter.

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  5. Store detectives must follow a suspect around the store by foot or by watching video monitors and observe every move the person makes so that they do not face a lawsuit for apprehending or arresting the wrong person. The presence of uniformed security guards acts as a deterrent to shoplifting activity and they are mostly used by high-end retail establishments such as jewellery stores and camera and electronics stores. They are also used in stores like Target and Walmart.

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    Floor attendants greet customers, follow them as they walk about the store, and offer help with shopping. Shoplifters are not comfortable with this attention and may go somewhere else where they can steal unnoticed. In a global study conducted by NRMA, it found shoplifters are 68 percent less likely to commit the offence if they are greeted immediately as they walk into the retail store. Some stores, such as Target , will have an employee working at the fitting rooms. The employee will count how many clothes a person brings into the fitting rooms and ensure that they come out with the same number of clothes.

    This is to prevent people from using the fitting rooms to shoplift. The strategies used by store and security personnel can strongly affect the ability of shoplifters to succeed.


    All personnel must be trained in the techniques shoplifters use to steal merchandise and the proper actions to take to detect these thefts. Costco and Best Buy are well-known companies that employ this tactic. However, that is voluntary, as the store cannot legally detain the shopper unless they have probable cause to suspect the shopper of shoplifting. In the United States, shoppers are under no actual obligation to accede to such a search unless the employee has reasonable grounds to suspect shoplifting and arrests the customer or takes or looks at the receipt from the customer without violating any laws [53] [54] or if the customer has signed a membership agreement which stipulates that customers will subject themselves to inspections before taking the purchased merchandise from the store.

    In the cases of Sam's Club and Costco , the contracts merely say that it is their policy to check receipts at the exit or that they "reserve the right. The purchaser who holds the receipt owns the merchandise. Employees who harass, assault, touch, or detain customers or take their purchased merchandise may be committing torts or crimes against the customers. Bottom-of-basket mirrors are commonly used in grocery stores where the checkout lanes are close together and the cashier might be unable to see the entire basket to ensure payment of all items. The customer is either required to purchase the merchandise immediately or it is left at the checkout register under the supervision of a cashier for the customer to purchase when finished shopping.

    Law Essay Sample: Shoplifting |

    This prevents the customer from having a chance to conceal the item. Another way of locking merchandise, especially popular in liquor stores, is to place it in a secure, store-administered hard-plastic cap on a regular bottle top. Once purchased the clerk will remove the cap with a store key. It is not otherwise easily removable. Many stores have certain items on locking pegs which are secure hooks to where the item cannot be removed from the hook. Some stores will use dummy cases, also known as "dead boxes", where the box or case on the shelf is entirely empty and the customer will not be given the item they have paid for until the transaction has been completed, usually by other store staff.

    Some stores have been known to take this idea further by filling the dummy cases or boxes with a weight, similar to the weight of the actual item by using a weight made to fit inside the box. This causes the shoplifter to think that the box is full, trying to steal it and ending up with nothing. This was especially popular in movie rental stores such as Blockbuster Video. In some retail stores such as JB Hi-Fi , customers are randomly asked, instructed, or requested or subject to present their personal bags for inspection by a staff or security guard or loss prevention associate when leaving the store on condition of entry.

    Additionally, some stores such as JB Hi-Fi , BestBuy and Costco add a measure and process of conducting receipt inspection to make sure the customer is purchasing the correct item. There is another theft scheme, in which people can conceal items and then only pay for one item.

    Normally this is either done by customers or employees. The purpose is to reduce and decrease retail theft and shoplifting. In , accused murderer Lizzie Borden again received media attention when she was accused of shoplifting. In , French writer and political activist Jean Genet was arrested in Paris for shoplifting a dozen handkerchiefs from the department store Samaritaine.