Shoplifting is a very big problem in America. Shoplifting affects more than the offender. It overburdens the police and the courts, adds to a store’s security expenses, costs consumers more for goods, costs communities lost dollars in sales taxes and hurts children and families. Not all shoplifters are the same, there are two distinct types. There are also many ways to help prevent shoplifting. The consumer is affected in a few different ways because of shoplifting. For the consumer who shoplifts, which is usually a teenager or senior citizen, the law affects them. No shoplifter will never get caught even though that is what most believe. As shoplifters steal for longer periods of time, and their shoplifting progresses as they start to steal bigger and more expensive items more frequently. As time goes they start to become involved with car shopping, stealing cars, and breaking in to houses. Shoplifting has consequences, which vary from getting your parents called all the way to large amounts of jail time. Even people who accompany shoplifters are in danger; for being with a shoplifter is almost as bad as shoplifting.
That is why it is important to stay away from people who are shoplifting. If it is your friend who is shoplifting the best is to try to get him to stop. You could do this by telling him not to, reminding him of the consequences, and maybe even threatening to tell authority if has to come to that. If someone ever asks you to steal you should know the answer is no way no how, because getting in trouble with law will mess up your entire life. For the consumer who does not shoplift, they have the problem of always being suspected. Because of shoplifting, some stores in my area do not allow minors to enter with out an adult. Many stores will ask you “if you are going to pay for that?” It becomes quite annoying when store owners hound you while you are shopping or ask you to leave if you are taking too long when you are actually just browsing. Shoplifters affect the Store Owner heavily. The number one reason for small, new business’s to close is shoplifting. Approximately 10% of consumers enter a store and shoplift. It is very hard to run a store when 10% of your store is stolen from you.
The other factor is security equipment. It is expensive to run security precautions in your store, which is why so many small stores have none. When a store becomes big enough to afford good security equipment such as cameras and a security/ surveillance team then it is worth it. Security usually pays it self off from the money they get from shoplifters. When a person is caught for shoplifting they expect forgiveness because to them it does not seem that big of a deal. The only problem is that that person is not the only one. It probably happens pretty regularly. Future store owners are affected by shoplifting. If you live in a bad area or maybe even any area for that matter, you are open to shoplifting. Since most future storeowners are aware of the damages of shoplifting they are discouraged from opening their own store. Shoplifting affects our economy. The big problem is that it inflates prices. The only way that a store can maintain when almost 10% of their store is being robbed is to raise prices. It is not fair that some people can steal and others work hard and pay which is the honest way.
If a store has to close down then that cuts jobs. One store may not seem like a big difference, but when stores are closing every day because they can’t maintain a stable business because of shoplifters: it has a big influence. The loss of jobs then accounts for more unemployed, which equals a worse economy. If a future storeowner decides it is not a good idea then this also cuts down jobs. It is estimated that the United States economy loses ten billion dollars due to shoplifting a year. That is around twenty-five million dollars a day. That is ten billion dollars businesses need to compensate for. Another point for why shoplifting is hurting our economy is that we have to pay out of taxes for the burden of police and courts. It also hurts communities in sales tax. There are two types of shoplifters, Professional shoplifters and non-professional shoplifters. Professional shoplifters are addicts who steal to buy drugs (a drug problem, not a shoplifting problem) or hardened criminals who steal for resale as a lifestyle. These individuals usually commit other types of crimes and lack any conscience or guilt.
The usual approaches with them are treatment centers or jail. Non-Professional shoplifters are the people who make up the majority of shoplifters and who steal for a few different reasons, mostly related to common life situations and their personal ability (or inability) to cope. They include people who are depressed, frustrated, anxious, influenced by peers, thrill seekers or kleptomaniacs. Shoplifting is rarely about greed, poverty or values. It is about people struggling with personal conflicts and needs. These people know right from wrong, they know there are consequences and they often have the money to pay, but they continue to steal anyway. These people steal items they often don’t need and sometimes don’t use. While many non-professional shoplifters steal from stores on a regular basis, they usually have no prior criminal record (except perhaps for shoplifting) and are typically the kind of people who don’t commit other types of crimes. Their behavior is less related to criminal intent and more the result of emotional or psychological problems in need of attention. Research shows that nationwide there are thousands of shoplifters who continually repeat the offense and want to stop…but can’t.
Their shoplifting has become a habit or even an addiction, and they are too ashamed or afraid to tell. Other shoplifters simply deny they have a problem of any kind. Psychological profiles and admissions by shoplifters revealed that 1 out of 3 shoplifters are “at risk” of repeating the offense after getting caught. The best approach for non-professional shoplifters is for the community to make available a treatment program at a time when shoplifters will be most receptive to it…that is, when caught and/or prosecuted. There are many different types of security. There are security systems that work, and there are those which may be broken or are just for looks. No one can really tell the difference, and it usually gets the point across that he or she should not steel from there. The basic security system is the detectors found at the entrance of stores. I have seen these work, but also know stores which my friends work at in which they say do not. The problem with the detectors is that you have to place a clip of some sort on all merchandise if you want it to be detected when going threw a detector.
The plus to this system is that in dramatically reduces the rate of shoplifting in the store and is relatively cheep. Another strategy is the ink tags, which is commonly used by department stores. These can sometimes also be detected with metal detectors at the front of stores. These are not very expensive and usually get good results. The one problem is that when people catch on they will steel the items anywise and either cut, or break of the ink tag. There are sites on the Internet, which have methods of removing these pieces. Another higher way of protection is a surveillance system. For a surveillance system to actually catch shoplifters it must be very advanced. This usually costs a lot of money but usually pays it self off with caught shoplifters. There are companies that will install surveillance systems and then run them by having security employees monitor the system. Many stores only have a camera for the cash register, which will only help if the store is held up. This is for identification purposes. Other stores have false or broken cameras.
These usually scare the shoplifters away. For the surveillance systems, which are expensive and high tech, they are usually hidden. Their purpose is to catch shoplifters rather then scare them away. Usually when music stores, electronic stores, department stores, and other types of stores seem unprepared for shoplifting they have a highly advanced surveillance system. The point of wanting to catch the shoplifters is that they can not only be charged with criminal charges, but also with civil. From the research I have done, and from writing this essay I have learned a lot about shoplifting. One thing I found out is that the Internet is a very resourceful way to find out about illegal actions. There were many web sites that told how to shoplift or how to not get caught.
Since we have the freedom of speech there is not much we can do about this, but I think there should be a law on censoring these sights such as pornography is censored. I don’t think it is a good idea for an adult to go to these sights because it influences temptation, but adults should be able to make the right decision. Even though statistics show that a high percentage of adults theft. I am happy to say that I have not shop lifted since I have been caught and have been confronted to steel and simply and easily said I don’t steal anymore. I am proud of my accomplishment and share my knowledge with my friends to change their minds about shoplifting.
Shoplifting is an unfair way to try to cheat the system. It involves taking advantage of other hardworking people in many different ways; the stores have to buy equipment to try to prevent shoplifting, while other consumers must pay for items for the system to work. I shoplifted because I thought that I could be the exception, if everyone followed the rules but me, nothing would be wrong. However, this is an extremely selfish and unreasonable way to think.
Shoplifters steal from all types of stores including department stores, specialty shops, supermarkets, drug stores, discounters, music stores, convenience stores, thrift shops, large companies, and small mom and pop shops. Shoplifting can hurt more than just the business from which you are stealing. It causes a tidal wave of other problems that aren’t apparent on the surface. Of course everyone would want to be the exception and not have to pay for items while everyone else does. To keep everything working properly everyone must be a part of the system, if too many people try to escape it, then there would be no system.
Stores would not be able to operate. Possibly an extreme example of this would be countries that are corrupt and crime ridden because of too many people refusing to follow the rules and be a part of a society based on laws. Depending on others to do the right thing while I benefit from doing the wrong thing is completely unfair and unreasonable. A metaphor for me shoplifting could be countries like Iraq and Nigeria where there is abundant oil reserves inside their country, but even with that source of income, the country still cannot strive because of corruption of the money coming in to the government.
There is so much corruption that even with the oil bringing in so much money, the government is still very dangerous and is not as put together and helpful as other countries such as the United States. This applies to my situation because I am an extremely lucky person to be born into the life that I have been. I live in a safe neighborhood with two parents that love me with enough money to live a comfortable life. All the privileges that I have are similar to the oil, and shoplifting is equal to the corruption.
I have all these things going for me, there is no reason to ruin it all or risk it all by doing something stupid like shoplifting. I was selfish and wanted to try it to see if I could get away with it, but there was no reason for me to try it in the first place. There was no reasonable motive that could of convinced me to do such a stupid act. Such a selfish and harmful act can never be justified. The way I see it, there are four main groups who suffer when an individual decides to shoplift. If friends or family are aware of the individual shoplifting, that will cause them to look down on the individual.
This can lead to embarrassment or lower self esteem because of people not approving of the actions that you are committing. Society frowns on those who break the law, especially those who flaunt their brazen attitude and almost dare the system to try to catch them. The second group that suffers is the retailer. The loss to the retailer comes in many different ways, the first of which is the lost revenue for the stolen item. Obviously, the company cannot make back the money spent to create the item because the item was not paid for, resulting in a loss with no sort of gain back for the company.
As a result, the loss must be passed onto consumers by increasing the price of goods in general to compensate. The second way that the retailer is affected negatively is money being forced to be spent on prevention of shoplifting. This includes more personnel, door security scanners, video monitoring equipment, tags to be put on merchandise, and more. All of these devices are very expensive and lead to having an effect on a store’s bottom line. Stores are estimated to loose between 1 and 8 percent of their yearly gross sales to shoplifting. National Association of Shoplifting Prevention or NASP) This leads into the third group, which is affected, the consumer. To compensate for the shoplifting, the retailer has increased prices, which may cause consumers to shop elsewhere to purchase comparable items at a cheaper rate. The store is no longer the best place to go for the item they desire, so they must search elsewhere to save money. Time spent during that travel and research, plus the gas and wear and tear on the vehicle or simply an increased volume on the public transportation system, are all real effects that can be seen.
Finally, shoplifting causes community time to be spent trying to resolve issues surrounding it, rather than the planning of civic projects that will make a positive contribution to the community. Time must be spent addressing the issues of shoplifting instead of working on something more productive. Focusing on how to stop a bad thing is much less productive overall than building forward and creating new great things. City council meetings, police and community relation meetings and civic organizational meetings need to spend their time in a more productive way instead of being forced to combat a problem that manages o cost our nation more than 30 billion dollars annually. (NASP) Time spend on this topic could be spent doing bigger and better things, but shoplifting is a major problem in the United States that must be stopped. The NASP has found that more than $13 billion worth of goods are stolen from retailers each year. That’s more than $35 million per day. There are approximately 27 million shoplifters (or 1 in 11 people) in our nation today. More than 10 million people have been caught shoplifting in the last five years.
Preventing shoplifting is not easy, and some stores like small shops do not have the money or access to the equipment that would really help in the prevention of shoplifting. The NASP says stores that do not have the equipment to stop shoplifting well are targeted by shoplifters, leading to many items stolen without getting caught. The NASP says that these shoplifters will then eventually move on to larger stores that do have the proper security, which is how most shoplifters get caught.
They work there way up until eventually they are attempting to steal from stores with the security that is far greater than they can trick. The shoplifter leaves a metaphorical trail behind them of small stores that have lost substantial amounts of income because of items (usually the most expensive because they can take anything with the lack of security) being taken without any compensation. The large stores that do catch the shoplifters may be partially compensated, because they get the items back and then also collect a fine from the thief.
The fine helps pay for the equipment and personnel used to catch the shoplifter. So all in all, the large stores spend money to catch the criminals, then make some of it back with fines and receiving the stolen item back. Small stores just loose the money that they would of gained from the merchandise and do not gain any of it back. Shoplifting is our nation’s “silent crime”. Parents don’t want to believe it, schools don’t address it, retailers don’t want to talk about it, police don’t want to respond to it, and courts don’t want to deal with it according to the NASP.
The people who do the shoplifting either rationalize it as “no big deal” or are too ashamed or too afraid to admit it. This makes a shoplifters habits grow because it is not as in the spotlight as for example fighting is. Statistics on the NASP website show that the vast majority of shoplifters are not caught per each occasion they steal. This leads to more confidence because they think that no one really cares so they can take anything that they want no problem. To stop this, one possible solution is to make shoplifting more of a big deal.
Have every store be required to have anti shoplifting equipment so that small time criminals will not grow into larger shoplifters because shoplifting would be virtually impossible if the criminal was not going all out as in an armed robbery which is much more of a big deal than the majority of shoplifters would be willing to do. Most of people who shoplift are small time criminals. They would never do anything that is on a higher level than shoplifting. They think it is easy and leads to a gain of new items without for spending money on it. Shoplifters may think they have the advantage when attempting to steal from a company.
All they have to do is waltz on in, take some items and maybe put them in their pockets, and then walk out the store. There are usually no guards at the doors, anyone can walk in and out. Sometimes there are cameras, but even with cameras, it is hard for the retailer to stop all shoplifting. It is hard to effectively prevent shoplifting without turning the shopping experience into something ridiculous for the every day honest shopper. Hypothetically, it would be effective to search everyone who comes in and out of a store, because that would lead to there being no way for someone to leave the store with an item that is not paid for.
However, this would be extremely arduous and painstaking for a regular shopper. It would be extremely frustrating and annoying, which could possibly lead the consumer to shop online or at a store that does not take such extreme measures. It is hard for the retailer to prevent shoplifting without becoming too extreme or spend too much money. This situation puts the retailer in a loose loose situation. They must decide to either inconvenience honest shoppers with high security measures and risk loosing their business, or risk loosing money to shoplifters because of lower security.
Shoplifting hurts everyone in a community. It is never worth it to steal anything and have every single person in a community suffer. To keep society moving and operating correctly, everyone must take part in it even if there are parts that they do not like. Even if they think that there is a part of the society that can be taken advantage of like stealing instead of paying for things, they must contribute so everything works together. It is not fair to think that you are the exception to the rules, and that if you do something wrong that benefits only you and no one else does it, than it is fine.
That is a terribly selfish and unfair way to think and no one should think in such a close-minded way that would lead to them thinking that shoplifting is ok. I was that person, I thought the only person who was effected was the CEO of the company who would make a couple bucks less than their usual millions of dollars that they would make if I didn’t steal from them. I was close minded, selfish, and unreasonable. I am extremely ashamed of what I did and I cannot even describe how grateful I am to be given a second chance.
This whole process has been eye opening, my close minded, idiotic way of thinking has been opened up and I now understand how terrible stealing really is, and there is no way that I will ever steal again. People should be proud to be an important part of the system, the American society that works so well, instead of trying to exploit it and take advantage of every part that is hard to defend against trouble. Branching off of the harmful things that happen to the individual who is shoplifting, the NASP says some shoplifters can experience a sort of “high” feeling after stealing.
This can lead to an addiction, where a criminal will feel empty and want to feel that high way again. The only way to feel that way again is to steal more items. So eventually, it can be that people are stealing just for the excitement of it instead of for the actually items that they are stealing. To summarize, the NASP says, while most non-professional shoplifters feel guilty, ashamed and fearful of getting caught, the excitement they experience from shoplifting entices them back, again and again.
The excitement of “getting away with it” produces a chemical reaction, which is described as an incredible “rush” or “high”. Many shoplifters say that this is the “true reward” of shoplifting rather than the item itself. Some people shoplift because they are unhappy with their lives and the small amount of excitement and release from getting away will brighten their day. Shoplifters who do this can learn how to feel this happiness without doing anything illegal like shoplift. Through “offense-specific” educational programs, shoplifters learn how to substitute natural highs” such as shopping, eating out, reading a good book, playing ball, getting their hair done or calling a friend, according to the NASP. Once shoplifters understand the pressures, which triggered their shoplifting incident and how to get relief, the chances of repeating the offense typically drops from 25% to 2%. Although it is not as common as an addiction to drugs or cigarettes, a shoplifting addiction is very real and many people in the world feel the need to satisfy their urge to steal again and again.
If a shoplifter is not addicted to stealing, some might do it because they are going through a tough time in their lives and the phrase misery loves company comes into play. They think that hurting the store while they are hurting will make them feel better. Besides hurting the retailer, this all hurts the individual because they are repeating the illegal action uncontrollably until eventually they are caught. When caught the individual will be hurt by being put in jail, which can result in loss of jobs or loved ones, or they will have to pay a fine or do community service.
Besides the community service, all of these options will negatively impact the individual who steals on a regular basis because of reasons that usually, they cannot understand or explain. A more extreme example of a retailer being hurt by shoplifting is a small store that cannot afford to buy security equipment. A number of stolen items can very negatively affect their margins, and if the theft is large enough and the amounts of purchase is not enough, the store going bankrupt is a very real possibility. This can lead to the owners of the store loosing a very large amount of money.
If your business fails, it is equal to loosing your job, and in this economy that can be completely devastating. This maybe an extreme example, but if a shoplifter does not feel bad and the company is not facing great success, this can very easily happen. Lives can be changed very drastically for the worse if jobs are lost. Drug addicts, who have become addicted to shoplifting, describe shoplifting as equally addicting as drugs.? 57 percent of adults and 33 percent of juveniles say it is hard for them to stop shoplifting even after getting caught. NASP) Shoplifting is one of the most common crimes committed, according the NASP. Everyone goes shopping, which leads to every single person having the option to try to shoplift. Compared to other crimes it is simpler and in most cases easier than other crimes, that even if a criminal did want to commit, it takes much more effort and planning. Shoplifting is a bad habit to get into. It hurts many people and there is no way that the reward is worth the harm it causes. If you can’t afford something, you can’t have it. That is just how life works.
Leave the merchandise on the store shelf where it belongs if you have no intention of purchasing it legally. It isn’t worth the cost to you or any of the other people that this affects deeply. If you aren’t working, start working. If you don’t make enough money, look for legal ways to make more money. Don’t take what isn’t yours. You wouldn’t want someone to do it to you, so don’t expect others to feel any differently about it. If you can afford it and are just too selfish and unwilling to spend money, than that is ridiculous. Money is made to be spent, if you want a product and you have money, than spend it.
Let the system work, support American society and be proud to be a part of it. If you get caught shoplifting, it can ruin your life. I am extremely lucky to have been given a second chance, and I appreciate it a tremendous amount. Do not let materialism bring you down to that level. It is not worth hurting so many people just to get some product that you want. If it is really worth stealing, than it is worth buying. Do not steal things just for the sake of it because you really do not need or even really want the item but maybe you are bored and want something new.
There are more exciting things to do than get a new product from a store. Call a friend, go on an adventure, learn about something new, listen to music. There are plenty of fun things to do that require no money. Understand what you need and take care of that first. Pay for it legally. If you don’t need it but still want it, find a way to earn it. Be fair to all of those people who choose to do things the right way. In conclusion, Shoplifting is a very common crime that hurts many people. The individual is hurt, the retailer is hurt, the consumer is hurt, and the community is hurt.
I will never steal another item for as long as I live. I now understand the trouble it causes and it is just simply wrong and selfish to steal anything. If you think that it is worth stealing, it is worth buying. I will be proud to contribute to such a solid system that the United States has where the retailer and the consumer has a equal relationship. I am extremely sorry for all the trouble I have caused, and I promise that you will not regret the decision to give me another chance, nothing like this will ever happen again you have my word. Thanks again, I am truly sorry.