Important and eye-opening facts about shoplifting

There is a common misconception that shoplifting is usually committed by minors. But this is not the case. Felons of all ages shoplift. It has become so rampant that stores nowadays blur the lines of legality to implement questionable methods of surveillance just to catch shoplifters.

Retailers all over the country have grown more and more wary, as they collectively lose billions of dollars annually from shoplifting incidents. The cost of shoplifting exceeds $30 billion, with retail inventories losing around .7 to 2.2 per cent. Some stores even go bankrupt because theft has gotten so rampant.

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Losses incurred due to shoplifting are different for all stores. But the incidents occur around 300 to 400 million times a year. That’s around a million, give or take a few hundred thousand, incidents a day. These also include cases reported involving vendors and employees accused of stealing.

However, people accused of stealing are considered innocent until proven guilty, and they have rights. Detaining them is illegal. When shop owners physically restrain a perceived shoplifter, they can be sued in turn for assault, thereby making apprehending shoplifters tricky. It’s also easy to mistake a shoplifter for someone who isn’t. False arrests claims have become all too common.

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Other cases that can be filed against shop owners who are too quick on the trigger would be false imprisonment, excessive use of force, assault, and malicious prosecution.

Michael J. Donohue is a criminal defense lawyer in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Learn more about shoplifting cases by visiting this blog.


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