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Shoplifting and Retail Theft

Posted on in Theft

Chicago criminal defense attorneyIt is estimated that there exist approximately 27 million shoplifters in the United States. That means that one in 11 people have shoplifted at some point in their lives. In the last five years, over 10 million of those people have been caught. Shoplifting is so prevalent that there is even a community of proud shoplifters showing off pictures of items they have swiped on the social networking website Reddit. The community, which has over 30 thousand subscribers, is a forum for shoplifters to share methods, advice, and tricks of the trade. The welcome message touts “Welcome to Shoplifting! If you're here to preach morals, enjoy your very brief stay. If you're here to learn and share, please help contribute to our wonderful community of allegedly corrupt and soulless individuals.”

Shoplifting Can Cost More Than You Might Think

Although shoplifting is often seen as a minor crime, the consequences can be serious. If a person is caught shoplifting, they could face criminal penalties including fines, community service, or even jail time.

Individuals steal items from stores for a myriad of reasons. Some do it to sell the products for cash or because they feel an item they need is too expensive to buy. Others shoplift in order to provide income to feed a drug addiction. Some openly admit that they shoplift for the “thrill” of getting their items for free.

Shoplifter Cites Research as Her Motivation

When a shoplifter is caught by loss prevention staff, he or she will very often admit to he or she has done. However, one college student had an interesting explanation when she was recently caught shoplifting from a Wyoming Walmart. The student attempted to leave the store with almost $1,900 worth of merchandise. Upon being detained, she told employees her theft was only research for a term paper she was writing about kleptomania, a mental health condition which causes extremely strong urges to steal.

Investigators searched her college dorm room and were shocked to find thousands of dollars’ worth of stolen products. She now faces three felony charges in connection with retail theft.

Seek Qualified Representation

The severity of charges related to shoplifting will typically vary based on the nature and value of the stolen merchandise. If you have been accused of committing retail theft, contact an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney. We will review your case and help you explore your options for protecting your future. Call 773-276-5541 for a free consultation at Luisi Legal Group today.

 

Sources:

http://www.npr.org/2012/11/15/165218744/busted-what-happens-when-shoplifters-get-caught

http://www.shopliftingprevention.org/what-we-do/learning-resource-center/statistics/

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/06/12/woman-caught-shoplifting-said-was-studying-kleptomania.html

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