Shoplifting involves stealing items from a commercial establishment, so it is also referred to as ‘Retail Theft’. Shoplifting is more common than one would expect; surveys suggest that one out of ten people living in the U.S have committed the crime, at least once if not multiple times. More surprising is the fact that only 15% of shoplifters have stolen items in the name of destitution. The majority of individuals who find pleasure in pinching goods are well off, or financially capable of purchasing the things they take. These petty thieves usually sneak products into a bag or hide them under clothes, and leave without paying.
Some apply more creative fraudulent schemes that work without concealing merchandise that doesn’t belong to them. For example, a girl enters a clothing shop wearing one outfit and exits is a completely different one; the swap of clothes goes unnoticed as she left her original garments in place of the new ones. There is no specific description of a shoplifter because people from every age group, race, social status, profession, and gender have been found guilty of the offense. The most frequently pinched retail items include chewing gum, razors, OTC medicines, and baby diapers. None of these items cost much, though they may look like unnecessary expenses to people with very low income. Workers’ Compensation Attorney In Denver, CO elaborates five common reasons for shoplifting:
Some people enjoy the adrenaline rush that comes with breaking the law and deceiving others. Most shoplifters target small and independent retail stores; these places do not showcase extremely pricey products and have minimum security measures. As a result, many people can easily get away with stealing cheap stuff. The act of shoplifting items that cost less than $1000 is categorized as a misdemeanor, which is subject to small fines and community service as punishment.
Not every person that shoplifts does it willingly. Many individuals are forced into stealing things to prove themselves worthy of admission into a clique. New colleagues, friends, or coworkers may pressurize them into doing something illegal. People often go out of their comfort zone to fit in, and sometimes it involves violent crimes.
Nearly one third of shoplifters steal things to fulfill their emotional needs. Taking things for free grants them temporary bliss and they forget about their depression or stressful situation. These people feel deprived or wronged by the society, so they feel hollow inside. Shoplifted items help satiate the void by compensating for their losses.
Some people cannot resist the temptation to steal because their mind is programmed to do so. Individuals suffering from mental disorders, such as Kleptomania experience perpetual urges to pickpocket or pinch objects. Patients of Kleptomania often steal irrelevant items, which may not be of any use to them, nor have significant monetary value.
Stealing things and not being answerable to anyone may grant a sense of power to individuals who are otherwise meek or suppressed. Children from broken or troubled homes, and adults who are part of strained relationships find solace in the crime. It symbolizes freedom and authority, which they lack in other aspects of life.
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