Shoplifting not a victimless crime

Published 8:18 pm Wednesday, June 13, 2018

According to a CNBC report from 2014, shoplifting, fraud and administrative errors cost U.S. retailers an estimated $44 billion in 2014.

There’s a misnomer that retailers — especially big box retailers — can handle the loss because of the amount of traffic they get, but shoplifting is not a victimless crime. Not only does shoplifting affect the bottom line, but it also reduces what the employers can pay their workers, and it means higher costs for consumers.

On Monday night, the LaGrange Police Department released a shoplifting report for the month of May. It broke down 39 incidents, which likely resulted in thousands of dollars in lost income for local businesses.

The LPD saw that shoplifting incidents had increased by 75 percent in the first five months of the year, and is doing its part to deter those types of crimes.

While the numbers are discouraging, keep in mind that shoplifting isn’t unique to Troup County. Every city in America deals with crime.

Locals can play a part in helping turn the numbers around. If you see someone shoplifting, don’t ignore it. Instead, alert managers at whatever store you’re shopping at. Even if the suspect manages to get away before police arrive, it’s unlikely they’ll get away with it in the long run.

In a large chunk of the 39 incidents listed for May, the suspect was identified and later arrested, which is a reminder that crime does not pay.