Home > News > Industry News

How Store Environments Affect Shoplifting Crime


Here’s how one shoplifter assesses risk. “First things first—you want to know if they got what you want. The second factor is the risk involvement. The risk involvement will be security times cameras times employees times space times [other] customers. Those are the five factors you’re going to have. Why? Because all of them conflict (sic) with each other to catch you.”

The quote above is not fictional. It is an actual quote from a seasoned shoplifter, and it indicates the type of thought process shoplifters and organized retail crime (ORC) gangs use when they enter a store.

Like anyone else, shoplifters are reasonable people who usually assess the pros and cons of a situation before deciding to take action. For a shoplifting crime offender, this process may occur in a matter of seconds—the length of time it takes to walk into a store, scan the space, and judge its desirability as a theft target. The offender weighs reward/opportunity against risk, and then decides whether or not to steal.