Survey: Shoplifters, Dishonest Employees Apprehended In Record Numbers By Retailers In 2008

Shoplifters and dishonest employees stole more than $6.0 billion in 2008 from just 22 major retailers, according to the 21st Annual Retail Theft Survey conducted by Jack L. Hayes International, the leading loss prevention and inventory shrinkage control consulting firm. These 22 surveyed retailers apprehended a record 904,226 shoplifters and dishonest employees in 2008 and recovered more than $182 million from these thieves.

“For the third consecutive year, both the apprehensions and recovery dollars from shoplifters and dishonest employees rose; up 7.26 percent and 21.64 percent respectively,” said Mark R. Doyle, president of Jack L. Hayes International. “While shoplifter and dishonest employee apprehensions increased 7.65 percent and 3.01 percent respectively, the increase in recovery dollars from these apprehensions was up an amazing 30.24 percent for shoplifting and almost 10 percent for dishonest employees. It should also be noted that employee theft apprehensions and recovery dollars increased for the fifth straight year.

“With the downturn in the economy, we have seen an increase in theft, which is having a detrimental impact on retailers’ bottom-line profits. These theft losses drive consumer prices higher and can force unprofitable stores to close.”

Highlights from this highly anticipated annual theft survey include:

  • Participants: 22 large retail companies with 19,151 stores and over $570 billion in retail sales (2008).
  • Apprehensions: 904,226 shoplifters and dishonest employees were apprehended in 2008, up 7.26 percent from 2007.
  • Recovery Dollars: More than $182 million was recovered from apprehended shoplifters and dishonest employees in 2008, up 21.64 percent from 2007.
  • Shoplifter Apprehensions: 832,106 shoplifters were apprehended in 2008, up 7.65 percent from 2007.
  • Shoplifter Recovery Dollars: More than $113 million was recovered from apprehended shoplifters in 2008, an amazing 30.24 percent increase from 2007.
  • Employee Apprehensions: 72,120 dishonest employees were apprehended in 2008, up 3.01 percent from 2007.
  • Employee Recovery Dollars: More than $69.8 million was recovered from employee apprehensions in 2008, up 9.9 percent from 2007.
  • One in every 30 employees was apprehended for theft from their employer in 2008. (Based on over 2.1 million employees.)

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