A prominent retail group on Thursday reported a nationwide increase this year in shoplifting and pharmacy thefts, calling the fight to stop store crime "an uphill battle."

The Retail Industry Leaders Association blamed an expanding black market for the rise in organized shoplifting crimes, with stolen goods surfacing on the Internet, in flea markets and in storefront bodegas.

"We were disappointed, though not surprised," Lisa LaBruno, the association's vice president of loss prevention and legal affairs, said in a statement. "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."

More than half of the 200 retailers representing 100,000 outlets surveyed said that shoplifting by organized bands of thieves had surged upward, and 41% indicated that individual shoplifting was also on the rise. Stores reporting more thefts of pharmaceutical products hit 64%, though the figures released did not specify how many of those involved prescription drugs.

As for online reselling that franchises in the trade group could detect, 64% reported an increase in re-vending of their goods on the Internet.

Although store crime continued its climb in 2011, the rate seems to have slowed, as the economy recovers somewhat. In 2010, the association said 65% of retailers saw an uptick in organized retail crime, defined as acts of stealing by any groups of two or more people.

One trend seems to have leveled off in 2011. Nearly 80% reported no change in "flash mob" attacks -- mass robberies often coordinated through social media.

The National Retail Federation, another large trade association, reported earlier this year that 95% of retailers were victimized by organized retail crime -- an increase of 6% over the previous year.

Retailers lose $13 billion a year to merchandise theft, according to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, and only one person in 48 who commits those crimes get caught.

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Seer Clearly

Eliminate all the comments that are paid shills for ads and political causes, and I'll come back to this site and read the articles. But for now, the articles just read like bait for the shills, so I'm out of here. Get lost, shills. Who do you think you're fooling?

October 10 2011 at 10:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So you sent your older elderly employee to do the hard labor so your young potential department manager of the future could talk on his cell phone all day. Kind of sounds like a Walmart?

October 10 2011 at 7:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Taking someone's employment away from them could be called stealing. Gee wonder what God thinks about your employment practices? Bingo!

October 10 2011 at 7:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The same abuses of people get called differently in the Arab Spring situation but here it's a rise in shoplifting fancy that.

October 10 2011 at 7:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wasting the lives of decent folk through corporate greed and layoffs of human beings whom have to eat can only have a negative effect. As more people are pulled down into the gutter the ramafications will become alarming. What you say poverty does not encourage crime? Some 300 million people in the US get with the program the poor can not hibernate while you make your billions and hold it off the market so few can achieve life sustaining employment?

October 10 2011 at 7:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Crime is always down when they say so no matter the truth.
Crime can only get worse it's only logical if you abuse people by shipping their jobs off sure and discriminate against them that they will break down an become your worse enemy.

October 10 2011 at 6:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Some of these same stores are firing employees wrongfully is that not stealing also?

October 10 2011 at 6:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thank you dailyfinance for this article, Thank you aol memebers for comment's.

October 08 2011 at 7:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


These guys are too funny

October 08 2011 at 7:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is so strange, I really do not know what to believe anymore. Just yesterday there was a news story here that claimed all crime was down because of the " Obama Effect". Crime was down across the board because Obama gave people hope. I guess these folks did not get the word that life is better for them now. What a bunch of bunk. When I read that yesterday I did not know if I should cry or laugh. I am 56, have worked all my life, 4 year degree, good at what I do. I am happy to have a job. The only problem is I am now making what I was making in the 70's. Dollar for dollar without accounting for inflation. All of my friends are in the same boat if they have a job, alot of them do not. This has been the worst 2 years of my life, hands down. I am sick of the government trying to pump sunshine up my butt. Admit defeat, change the policies and get on with it already. We do not need high fiving politicians on the golf course, we need serious people making serious decisions. Enough is enough.

October 07 2011 at 2:45 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to gfhawaii's comment

I had the same thoughts and must agree with what you have stated.

October 09 2011 at 10:57 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply