‘Tis the season for shoplifting

The holidays can bring many things such as joy, family and for some, the pressure to provide gifts for their loved ones.

But for some, their financial burdens may take them to certain lengths such as shoplifting. As the holiday season quickly approaches the rise in shoplifting may also increase.

According to a 2012 Centre for Retail Research study, the U.S. suffered the highest losses in the holiday season.  There were holiday losses of $3,757.5 million in shoplifting loses, $4,652.5 million in employee theft, $442.0 million in supply chain fraud.

The article also said the top 10 most stolen items included alcohol, women’s clothing and fashion accessories, toys, perfume and health and beauty gift packs, electronic devices, DVD gift sets, game consoles, food, Christmas decorations, electrical goods, watches and jewelry, chocolates and confectionary.

Victoria Rose, the CEO of Over the Top Fashion on 2020 S. Adams Street, said people are driven to shoplifting because of desperation.

“The reason shoplifting increases during the holidays is because some people are broke and it’s the holidays and they need things to be able to give gifts, so they choose shops that have a lack of security and low staffing,” Rose said.  “I personally try to help those who seem in need, I try to give them something for free from my store to leave a lasting impression.”

Shoplifting happens at small stores and boutiques to Wal-Mart, Dillard’s and others. Employee theft is also a major issue.

Nneka Katie Abara, a fourth-year English student from Tallahassee and a Dillard’s sales associate, said employees may shoplift because of high prices and the pressure of buying gifts for multiple people.

“One of the many reasons shoplifting peaks during the holidays is because many cannot afford to buy significantly higher priced merchandise, like much of what we carry here at Dillard’s,” Abara said. “Buying for multiple people such as family and friends becomes problematic.”

Omali Gumbs, a Florida A&M alumnus and Wal-Mart electronics associate, said shoppers believe they can get away with the crime.

“During the holiday season, yes shoplifting peaks, higher-end items tend to come up missing and even lower-end items,” Gumbs said. “I think there is a peak in shoplifting during this time because its more crowded and they feel like they can get away with it.”