Shoplifting continues to rise, according to the 30th Annual Retail Theft Survey from Jack L. Hayes International, Inc. 432,046 shoplifters and dishonest employees were apprehended in 2017, up 1.7 percent from 2016.
The average case value for shoplifters was $381.25, up more than 10 percent from 2016. On average, dishonest employees stole $966.61.
More than $188 million was recovered from apprehended thieves, and an additional $185 million was recovered from non-apprehended shoplifters. For every dollar recovered by the companies surveyed, $11.54 was lost to retail theft; only 8.7 percent of total retail theft losses resulted in a recovery.
Out of the 21 large retailers (more than 16,000 stores, total) participating in the survey, 61.9% reported an increase in shrink in 2017.
When asked why shoplifting apprehensions and recovery dollars increased in 2017, retailers cited less risk for selling stolen merchandise online, changes in product lines resulting in more desirable items to steal, increased focus on shoplifters and on high-theft categories and departments, felony thresholds being raised or increased in various states, and the increasing drug crisis.