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Stopping theft in its tracks

EDUCATION

Posted: January 5, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: January 5, 2014 2:00 a.m.
 

Each year, in the United States, more than 13 billion dollars worth of products are stolen from suppliers.  According to Wikipedia, in 2008, there were 650,385 larceny (shoplifting) incidents that were reported in California.  

This is very shocking that this many incidents have happened, considering that stores are taking extreme measures to stop shoplifters.  These extreme measures are, for example, video surveillance, security sensors, secret shoppers, and uniformed security guards to patrol the premises.  

In just Los Angeles County alone, the amount of incidents that happened in 2010 was 140,552, according to the Los Angeles Almanac.  CityRating.com states that there were 2,228 shoplifting cases reported this year. 

Shoplifting occurs in practically every corner of the world but, even though it is a crime – especially here in Santa Clarita – it can be prevented.

In many ways shoplifting affects the economy in Santa Clarita.  These types of thefts cause a downward spiral. 

Ask.com says that shoplifting causes stores to raise prices, which then cause the businesses to lose money.
Stores have to raise prices on products because they lose profit.  When businesses raise prices, consumers will take their shopping somewhere else.  Once the businesses lose customers, employees get laid off and the unemployment rate increases, according to globalpost.com.  

Employees get laid off because if high priced items are stolen, the employees getting laid off give the store a chance to make up their losses.  When the unemployment rate increases a financial crisis begins, all because of shoplifting.  

When shoplifting occurs here in Santa Clarita some employees can be affected by feeling unsafe in their work environment.  According to www.cooperativegrocer.coop they are afraid a shoplifter will come in with a gun.

This is a big deal for employees because when they do not feel safe in their work environment it is hard for them to focus on their job.  This might be very surprising but shoplifters do carry guns.  It is surprising because most people would think that shoplifters do not carry guns at all, that they simply place items in their pockets and leave.  

Shoplifting also affects how an employee welcomes a customer, when shoplifting happens, according to www.retailsolutionsonline.com.  This could cause consumers to not want to go back to the store, because the customer service there is not good.  

Shoplifting also makes employees paranoid, which makes them think that a shoplifter may come in at any second, according to Standard-Freeholder.com.  When employees become paranoid about shoplifting, they are not able to be productive while at work, according to www.businesswhales.  Employees might even want to resign because of all the issues with being an employee, which can affect the business.

Anxiety can also affect the shoplifter.  A person who wants to be relieved from anxiety will shoplift, but this only relieves it temporarily. This is why they keep on shoplifting. When the rush from stealing is gone, they feel that there is no other reward, so they continue to shoplift.

Shopliftingprevention.org says, “a shoplifter might also shoplift because they might have a financial situation and it gives them a feeling that they are more in control of the financial situation.”  BBC.co.uk says that even though the shoplifter might have a financial situation they think shoplifting will be worth it to calm it down.  

Depression also plays a role in shoplifting. The reason depression plays a role in shoplifting is because for some shoplifters, when they want something, maybe around holiday times, and they don’t have the money for it, they will do anything to get it.  

Also around holiday times the shoplifters feel since they want something, they think they can’t get caught, because the stores are filled with customers, kidshealth.org says.  When shoplifters think that they will get away with it, they can’t because of all the security.

According to kidsprevention.org, 55 percent of adult shoplifters say they started shoplifting in their teens.  In high school and junior high, you might want to start a class after school.  

A therapist and a counselor would be teaching an after-school class to help them identify the problem and make teens understand why it happens.  There are reasons to start having junior high or high school students take an after-school class.  One of the reasons is that the students can be prevented from shoplifting in the future. This class would be taught three times per week for three hours after-school.  

Stores could help prevent shoplifting by them improving their security.  Such as more uniformed security guards at posts and more security cameras and more sensors to sense if someone is shoplifting.  Also there can be more secret shoppers.  Secret shoppers are people who secretly watch customers while they are shopping to see if they are going to shoplift.  Following these guidelines will help determine what our community will be like in the future.

Editor's Note: Daniel Cox is a 9th grade student at SCVi International Charter School.

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