Report: Shoplifting surges, Economy to blame - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Report: Shoplifting surges, Economy to blame

By Lindsay Cohen email
Posted by Rachel Leigh email

PALM BEACH COUNTY, FL (WFLX) - With registers quieter and money staying packed into consumers' wallets, retailers are facing yet another tough problem: a surge in shoplifting.

The New York Times reports that police departments are seeing 10 to 20 percent more shoplifting arrests this year than last.

Experts attribute the rise in shoplifting to several factors. As the economy falters, more people are desperate and turn to shoplifting. On the retailers' side, budget cuts have forced stores to cut back, including when it comes to security.

The Times reports that two of the largest retail associations are showing that more than 80 percent of their members have seen sharp increases in shoplifting this year.

On the flip side, some argue that statistics on the matter are incomplete. The FBI tracks shoplifting offenses, and their numbers show that shoplifting has decreased every year from 2004 to 2007, although full numbers for 2008 aren't out until after January 1, 2009.

There are at least 39 people who have been booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on shoplifting charges since the beginning of December.

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