Retail shoplifting is a growing problem in North Carolina and throughout the US.
According to recent reports, more than 90 percent of companies are victims of shoplifting every year.
In our state, shoplifting is punished as “larceny of goods,” and occurs when someone takes and carries an item without the owner’s consent, and with the intent of depriving the owner of that item permanently.
Below, we’ve listed 6 of the most commonly shoplifted items in North Carolina and the US.
Meat. As surprising as it seems, meat is one of the most commonly stolen items from retailers. Expensive, high-quality meats, such as lamb chops and filet mignons, are most frequently targeted by shoplifters. To combat theft, retailers and loss prevention managers often hide security tags under labels and beneath pads for soaking up juice.
Razors. Razors are typically easy to conceal and have a high resale value, making them a prime target for shoplifters. Gillette razors are particularly popular, and shoplifters tend to focus on men’s razors rather than women’s.
Baby formula. The high cost of baby formula has led to the growth of an underground market that sells these products at a discounted price. Powdered baby formula is also often targeted by shoplifters because it can be used to dilute drugs such as cocaine and heroin.
Makeup. Makeup is another type of product that often comes with a high price tag and can be easily concealed in a purse, pocket, or sleeve. Commonly targeted types of makeup include expensive skin care products, mascaras, and lipsticks. Many makeup companies report losing as much as 2 percent of their profits to theft.
Alcohol. Alcohol is a common target of underage shoplifters and adults alike, and neither low-end nor high-end brands are spared. To combat shoplifters, many retailers rely on strict anti-theft systems, including security cameras and alarm devices.
Laptops. Every year, more than 100,000 thousand laptops are stolen by shoplifters. Electronic retailers are cracking down on laptop theft with the help of loss prevention personal and tough security measures.
Charged with Shoplifting in North Carolina? Here’s What You Need to Know.
In North Carolina, shoplifting is considered a misdemeanor if the property is valued below $1,000, and a felony if it is valued above this amount. In addition, shoplifting property worth more than $200 through an emergency exit, tampering with antishoplifting devices, or shoplifting a weapon may be charged as a felony.
North Carolina law takes shoplifting crimes incredibly seriously, regardless of whether they are misdemeanors or felonies. Law enforcement officials are cracking down on shoplifting across the state, focusing their attention commonly shoplifted items as well as items of high value.
If you’ve been accused of shoplifting in North Carolina, you are facing serious consequences to your personal and financial future. Depending on the value of property stolen and the circumstances of the incident, shoplifting is punishable by jail times, hefty fines, and a lifelong blemish on your permanent record. If you are accused of shoplifting, you could also be sued by the store owner for civil damages.
After being accused, arrested, or charged with shoplifting, you need to fight back. Your first step should be to consult with a skilled North Carolina criminal retail theft attorney with a track record of success. Your criminal attorney will listen to your side of the story and help you build a powerful defense. With a top defense attorney on your side, you will be in the best position possible to have your North Carolina shoplifting charges reduced or dropped entirely.
About the Author
Attorney Mike Schlosser represents victims of personal injury, those charged with a crime, as well as those facing traffic charges. A former Guilford County, North Carolina District Attorney, Schlosser has been in private practice at the Law Firm of Schlosser & Pritchett since 1983 and has been a member of the North Carolina State Bar since 1973.