(And now you do, too.)

  • More than $13 billion worth of goods are stolen from U.S. retailers each year — that's more than
  • $35 million per day.
  • There are approximately 27 million shoplifters — that's 1 in 11 people — in our nation today.
  • Shoplifters steal from all types of stores including department stores, specialty shops, supermarkets, drug stores, discounters, music stores, convenience stores and thrift shops.
  • There is no profile of a typical shoplifter: Every potential shopper is a potential shoplifter.
  • Men and women shoplift about equally as often.
  • Approximately 25 percent of shoplifters are kids; 75 percent are adults.
  • Fifty-five percent of adult shoplifters say they started shoplifting in their teens.
  • Many shoplifters buy and steal merchandise in the same visit. Shoplifters commonly steal from $2 to $200 per incident depending upon the type of store and item(s) chosen.
  • Shoplifting is often not a premeditated crime. Seventy-three percent of adult and 72 percent of juvenile shoplifters don't plan to steal in advance.
  • Eighty-nine percent of kids say they know other kids who shoplift, and 66 percent say they hang out with those kids.
  • Shoplifters say they are caught an average of only once in every 48 times they steal. (They are turned over to the police 50 percent of the time.)
  • Approximately three percent of shoplifters are "professionals" who steal solely for resale or profit as a business. These include drug addicts who steal to feed their habit, hardened professionals who steal as a lifestyle and international shoplifting gangs who steal for profit as a business. "Professional" shoplifters are responsible for 10 percent of the total dollar losses.
  • The vast majority of shoplifters are "non-professionals" who steal, not out of criminal intent, financial need or greed but mostly as a response to social and personal pressures in their life.
  • The excitement generated from "getting away with it" produces a chemical reaction resulting in what shoplifters describe as an incredible "rush" or "high." Many shoplifters will tell you that this high is their "true reward," rather than the merchandise itself.
  • Drug addicts, who have become addicted to shoplifting, describe shoplifting as equally addicting as drugs.
  • Fifty-seven percent of adults and 33 percent of juveniles say it is hard for them to stop shoplifting even after getting caught.
  • Most non-professional shoplifters don't commit other types of crimes. They'll never steal an ashtray from your house and will return to you a $20 bill you may have dropped. Their criminal activity is restricted to shoplifting and therefore, any rehabilitation program should be "offense-specific" for this crime.
  • Habitual shoplifters steal an average of 1.6 times per week.

* Information and statistics provided by the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP),

a non-profit organization; www.shopliftingprevention.org.”

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