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Why Do People Steal

Updated on March 7, 2007

Why do People Steal

Shoplifting some say is immoral & wrong, but some would say that it was a necessary way of life. We ask ourselves why someone would take something that doesn't belong to them. We also ask ourselves how people are able to go on day by day knowing that they have cheated someone or some company of money and profits earned by hard work. Well there is no answer to that question; there are only things that we can assume may be a reason for someone to want to do these things.

There are more reasons than anyone could ever come up to explain why someone shoplifts. We are not going to try to name them all just enough to give you an idea.

The first of many reasons is for money. On the black market you can sell an item for 50% of its value--possibly even more if the item is popular in the community at the time. For example, in the winter season a thief will go into a store and steal something like Tylenol Cold medicine. Why? Tylenol Cold costs about $6 dollars retail. On the street it would sell for about $3 dollars. These items are small and very easily concealed. So, a person could take anywhere from 50 to 100 at a time. The street value would be around $300 which is equivalent to a full time job paying 7.50 an hour. This type of thief is known as a professional.

The second most common reason people steals is obsession. They can't help themselves and they steal just to get the rush. This type of thief will take anything they can get there hands on because they just do it to see if they can get away.

Last but not least the third most common reason that people steal is for survival. This type of thief steals things that he/she needs to survive. Most of the time they take things like clothing for their children or medicine, baby formula and sometimes food. This type of shoplifting you can understand, but the act still wrong and illegal.

No matter which of the three reasons a person has for stealing, it is still wrong. This is the reason that retail prices can be so out of control. Shoplifting can cause a 15% to 20% increase in prices over a 2 year time period. This also decreases the bottom line profits of a company. The bottom line is what is left of the profits after all the expenses are paid. From the bottom line employees get raises, bonuses, profit sharing, and all the other things that are based entirely on profit.

There many types of criminals and for every criminal there is a different method of stealing. Once a shoplifter finds a particular method that works, they tend to stick to it. Now this works both ways. Because once a loss prevention officer figures out how someone is stealing, they now know what to look for and eventually will catch them. Shoplifters are creatures of habit. This means once they have found a store they can steal from successfully, they will continue to steal from that store. Not only will they continue to steal, but they will take more and more each time.

In addition to greed shoplifters also have no conscience. This allows them to steal and not feel guilty about it. They actually believe that they are doing nothing wrong.


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