Retailers always keep an eye out for shoplifters. The trained eyes of their security team can easily catch a would-be shoplifter slipping a necklace in their pocket. However, there’s a new kind of shoplifter on the rise and it takes more than a stern store manager to stop them.
What is Organized Shoplifting?
Organized shoplifts are planned attacks carried out by career criminals. These groups break into stores and brazenly steal products. Coordinated crime is planned, with everyone in the group having an assigned role. They are highly communicative and stay organized throughout the crime’s implementation.
Shoplifters typically focus on high-end goods with high resale value. They prefer small objects that are easily concealed. trendy objects are usually targeted since criminals know there will be a demand.
The rise in organized shoplifting to technological advancements. Savvy groups can plant cameras in the store before the heist and keep in constant communication. They can also easily sell the goods online without facing questions about where the goods came from.
How Shoplifting Affects Retailers
Think shoplifting is a victimless crime? Think again.
On the scene, shoplifting poses a risk to retail workers and shoppers. Shoplifters may use intimidation and threats of violence to get their way. With these threats is the real danger that the thieves will act on them.
These crimes have long-lasting impacts on the affected stores. Stores need to sell thousands of dollars more worth of merchandise to cover the cost of the stolen goods. Retail crime also makes the shopping experience seem unsafe to customers. This may create a long-term loss of sales that can be more devastating than the initial crime.
What Can Retailers Do to Deter Shoplifters?
Taking preventative steps against shoplifting can save retailers thousands of dollars in profit. These are steps retailers can take to prevent shoplifting:
- Lock away expensive items
- Use smart tags on high-value items
- Keep up-to-date on inventory
- Keep high-value items in cabinet displays
- Have security measures, including loss prevention officers and security cameras.
How Does the Law Persecute Retail Crime?
Lone shoplifters are easy to spot, but criminal organizations are harder to find.
Police often rely on camera footage to identify suspects. If the criminal is wearing a mask, it’s difficult to identify them. If the criminal isn’t wearing a mask, then the police can identify and track down the criminal. Retailers can also post a picture of the shoplifter on social media and get help from the public in identifying them.
In Florida, the charges depend on the value of the stolen property:
- Less than $100: Second-degree petty theft. Punishable by a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail.
- Between $100-$750: First-degree petty theft. Punishable by a $1000 fine and up to one year in prison.
- Between $750-$20,000: Grand theft of the third degree. Punishable by a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison.
- Between $20,000-$100,000: Grand theft of the second degree. Punishable by a $10,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison.
- More than $100,000: Grand theft of the first degree. Punishable by a $10,000 fine and up to 30 years in prison.
Use Your Criminal Justice Degree to Combat Crime
Stopping shoplifters requires creative investigation and a thorough understanding of the law. That’s what you’ll get at Florida National University. The criminal justice program will give you an understanding of the legal system, policing, and more.
Visit our website for more information on FNU’s criminal justice degree.