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One item that is especially popular among professional shoplifters at present is infant formula, presumably because it is expensive and easily sold.Some items might be constantly stolen, while thefts of others may reflect the popularity of new product releases, such as movies, video games, and music titles.
British retailers, in particular, have sought to avoid the term "shoplifting" on grounds that it suggests a less serious form of theft.
They prefer "shop theft."Understanding the factors that contribute to your problem will help you frame your own local analysis questions, determine good measures of effectiveness, recognize key points of intervention, and select an appropriate set of responses.
In addition, some retailers believe that the police can do little about the problem and may be unwilling to get involved.
Others see the police role as simply to deal with thieves whom security staff or store detectives have caught.
In addition, the stock control in shops is so deficient that few retailers know how many goods they lose to shoplifters or to their staff.
So long as theft and damage of goods, known in the retail industry as , does not rise above 2-3 percent of goods sold, retailers may pay little attention to shoplifting, especially when stolen goods can be taken as a tax write-off.Several offender groups are responsible: (1) opportunistic thieves, not readily distinguishable from ordinary customers, who steal items for personal use (sometimes called petty shoplifters); (2) more determined thieves, usually operating alone, who steal small quantities of goods to sell, often to support drug habits; and (3) groups of organized thieves who steal large quantities of merchandise for resale (often referred to as professional or organized retail theft).Shoplifting is just one of the crimes that occur in the retail environment.Consequently, this guide focuses on other preventive actions police might take.In many cases, their most important task is to persuade store-owners and managers to improve their security.People seem to have fewer inhibitions about stealing from shops than from private individuals.They also know they have little chance of getting caught, and, if caught, they can often produce plausible excuses, such as forgetting to pay.When particularly blatant shoplifting occurs, or when professional shoplifters are thought to be operating, merchants may call upon the police to take some kind of preventive action, usually in the form of increased presence or patrols.This may be of little deterrent value, since shoplifting takes place inside the store, away from police view.The guide begins by summarizing what is known about the main offender groups involved in shoplifting and by reviewing the police role in dealing with shoplifting.It then reviews factors that increase shoplifting risks and it lists a series of questions that might help you analyze your local shoplifting problem.