RILA study: Retail crimes continue to rise

Arlington, Va. -- A report released Thursday by the Retail Industry Leaders Association found significant increases in shoplifting and pharmacy theft, in particular. According to RILA’s 2011 Crime Trends and Leading Practices Survey, more than half of respondents reported an increase in the frequency with which organized rings committed shoplifting, and 41% 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%) 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.

“We were disappointed, though not surprised, to see the continued rise in shoplifting by organized groups and individuals acting alone,” said Lisa LaBruno, VP of loss prevention and legal affairs for RILA. “As long as there are channels through which thieves can resell stolen goods, it will be difficult to stem the tide of organized retail crime. That’s why it’s so important that we continue to explore state and federal legislative solutions and to enhance partnerships with external stakeholders to find a solution to the growing problem of ORC.”