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Study: Retail Crimes Continue to Rise

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DETROIT (WWJ) - According to a recent study, leading retailers are reporting increases in organized retail crime and shoplifting.

Last month, the Retail Industry Leaders Association released results of the 2011 Crime Trends and Leading Practices Survey, a comprehensive look at the past year’s trends in crimes against businesses from the perspective of the country’s leading retailers.

Survey participants reported the most significant increases in shoplifting and pharmacy theft. More than half of respondents reported an increase in the frequency with which organized rings committed shoplifting and 41 percent saw an increase in shoplifting by individuals acting alone. Sixty-four percent of respondents reported an increase in theft of pharmaceutical products.

According to the survey results, online marketplaces continue to be a favored venue for the resale of stolen product. A majority of retailers (61 percent) experienced an increase in the frequency with which stolen company merchandise was resold online; none reported a decrease in the online sale of stolen goods. Retailers also reported that their stolen merchandise was resold at flea markets and store front bodegas more frequently.

Other areas highlighted in the report include crimes committed by individual perpetrators, employee theft and fraud, pharmacy theft, flash mobs, retailers’ legislative efforts, effective deterrence strategies and the role of social networking in investigations.

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