Rewrite this post

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Shoplifting is on the rise in Rhode Island, 12 News has learned.

Data collected by Rhode Island State Police reveals that last year, there were 1,448 reported shoplifting incidents. That’s 97 more than the year prior, during which 1,351 shoplifting incidents were reported.

“It’s becoming more of a problem,” Providence College Marketing Professor Rae Caloura said.

When asked what’s attributing to the uptick in shoplifting incidents, Caloura explained that there are a number of factors.

Those factors, she said, include inflation, supply chain issues and staffing shortages.

“There are a whole bunch of things creating this economic uncertainty, which makes consumers feel really uncomfortable,” she said.

Caloura said that, while the “casual shoplifter” still exists, there has been a drastic increase in organized shoplifting rings.

“People are taught how to go out shoplift bulky items — like laundry detergent, health and beauty products — and what is happening they are doing it for another person,” she explained. “They get paid for stealing and then a third party resells these stolen goods to unsuspecting consumers.”

Caloura said shoplifting has stores nationwide cracking down. Numerous stores have resorted to locking up popular items in an attempt to make it harder for shoppers to steal.

“Those stores have identified those [locked up] items as most likely to be shoplifted,” she explained.

But it’s also frustrating for the average consumer.

“It causes another problem,” Caloura said. “Now you have a consumer who needs to find somebody to assist them with the product … it’s a balancing act for these retailers.”

The National Retail Federation estimates that retailers lost approximately 1.4% of their inventory last year to shoplifters, which equates to roughly $94.5 billion.

. Keep all images. Remove “and links” at the beginning

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *