Retailers Hurt by Theft

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Retailers Hurt by Theft

FRUITLAND PARK, Fla. -- A recently released retail theft survey found that out of a sample of 30 U.S. retail companies, more than $5 billion was lost to shoplifting and employee theft in 2001, with only 3.45 percent of those losses resulting in a recovery.

"The losses continue to amaze us," said Mark R. Doyle, vice president at Jack L. Hayes International, the loss prevention and inventory shrinkage control firm that published the 14th Annual Retail Theft Survey. "While both the number of dishonest employees apprehended and the dollars recovered from those employee apprehensions finally leveled off after seven consecutive years of increases, our survey participants reported sizable increases in the number of shoplifters apprehended and the dollar recoveries from shoplifting."

"Shoplifting and employee theft continue to be costly crimes which negatively impact the bottom-line profits of many retailers," Doyle added. "The result of these crimes is higher prices for consumers at the cash register, and a loss of jobs for employees when retailers are forced to close stores or even go out of business."

The annual survey reports on more than 700,000 apprehensions taking place in just 30 large retail companies representing 12,833 stores with combined 2001 annual sales in excess of $419 billion. Some of the major results from this survey are:

* Total dollar recoveries from both shoplifters and dishonest employees in 2001 exceeded $182 million, an increase of 9.44 percent over 2000.
* Survey participants apprehended 622,222 shoplifters in 2001, which reflects a 5.19 percent increase over their 2000 shoplifter apprehensions (591,545).
* Dollars recovered from shoplifting apprehensions totaled $70,954,254 in 2001, which is an increase of 9.32 percent over 2000 recoveries ($64,905,425).
* For the fifth consecutive year, the dollars recovered from shoplifters where no apprehension was made increased substantially over the prior year ($41,275,172 in 2001 vs. $30,315,706 in 2000, up 36.15 percent), after increasing an astonishing 27.96 percent in 2000 and 23.45 percent in 1999.
* Dishonest employee apprehensions (77,805 in 2001 vs. 78,468 in 2000) and the dollars recovered from those apprehended employees ($70,221,185 in 2001 vs. $71,494,974 in 2000) decreased slightly in 2001 (0.84 percent and 1.78 percent respectively), after increasing the prior seven consecutive years.
* On a per-company basis, one in every 27 employees was apprehended for theft from their employer. (Based on over 2.2 million employees.)
* On a per-person basis, dishonest employees steal approximately 7.9 times the amount stolen by shoplifters ($902.53 vs. $114.03).