Retailers report continued growth in retail crime

Arlington, Va. Crime at nationwide retailers continues to rise, according to the “Current Crime Trends” survey conducted by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA).

About 78% of retailers said there is an increase in amateur and opportunistic shoplifting, while 65% of retailers report seeing an increase in organized retail crime. About 74% of retailers said there is an increase of stolen items being found in online market places.

“We have seen a steady increase in retail crimes over the last year as criminals continue to take advantage of the economic climate to expand their activity,” said Casey Chroust, executive VP, retail operations. “Not only are retailers presented with additional challenges due to these increases in crime, but communities and consumers lose when the proceeds from these crimes are used to fund additional criminal activity.”

Retailers reported that there were no decreases in stolen items being found in online marketplaces, pawnshops, flea markets and traditional fencing operations. Seventy-five percent of retailers saw an increase of stolen items being found in online marketplaces; 47% in flea markets; 47% in traditional fencing operations; and 16% in pawn shops.

According to the report, retailers are also seeing an increase in burglary and fraud while reporting that other types of crimes, such as robbery and ID theft, are unchanged and continue to remain problems for retailers. These trends remain consistent with historical crime trends associated with economic distress and job instability; and therefore, continue to persist alongside the current economic climate, the report said.