Stop, Thief!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Retailers lose up to forty billion dollars a year to shoplifting, employee theft, and organized retail crime. Find out how the retail industry is now taking a high-tech approach to dealing with theft, and whether it’s working. John Colapinto’s article in the issue of the Sept. 1 issue of the New Yorker is "Stop, Thief!"


John Colapinto

Comments [4]


I worked as an Undercover Investigator for over 10 years, in NYC and other states. Most big stores were regular clients. We used to net on average 5 employees per month discovered to be stealing on a daily basis. Through the 80's we kept very busy and profitable, as in-store security was not enough to stop shrinkage.

Sep. 05 2008 01:05 PM
Dorothy from Chelsea

Remember Alexander's Dept. Store? When Alexander's went out of business it was said that it was losing $x million each year. It was also said that their "shrinkage" was exactly the same number of dollars. If it had not been for the stealing Alexander's, perhaps, would still be in business.

Sep. 05 2008 12:55 PM
Caitlin from Brooklyn

Are there any estimates about how much theft is done by employees? I used to work on the floor of a big box store, and quite a few of my fellow poorly-paid employees felt justified grabbing some snacks off a shelf and having lunch in the back room on the company tab, as it were. Also, one of the most common forms of thievery I saw was return-fraud; people would return cheaper items in different packaging, or buy something with a coupon and then return it at full price.

Sep. 05 2008 12:51 PM
Frances from NYC

I just tuned in.. but if this hasn't been covered: dont products in stores have electronic tags to prevent theft????

Sep. 05 2008 12:40 PM

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