No Surprise: People Are Shoplifting More

The bad news that most retailers were long expecting as the recession deepened has finally come to pass: In-store theft is on the rise in boutiques and shops across the country.

WWD reports that an annual Retail Theft Survey conducted by Jack L. Hayes International found an overall increase of 7.3 percent of  "apprehensions of shoplifters and dishonest retail employees" in 2008. Not only has shoplifting been increasing since the recession first began, it seems that the most egregious transgressions have been on the part of employees, who steal more on average ($969.14 versus $135.81).

Naturally, these numbers are likely to get worse for 2009: According to the article, the Retail Industry Leaders Association is already reporting that 61 percent of retailers had seen an increase in theft in the first four months of this year.

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