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Retail Theft Surge Hits U.S. Retailers and Consumers Alike August 23, 2023 (0 comments)


Charlotte, NC--According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), a surge in shoplifting and organized crime is impacting retailers and consumers nationwide.

[Image via Pexels Commons]

A Queen City News article stated that since the pandemic, shoplifting and organized criminal activities have soared alarmingly. Still, retail experts quickly note that this is not a novel problem. Mark Cohen, the director of Retail Studies at Columbia University’s Business School, emphasizes, as per the article, “Retail theft, retail crime has always been an issue.”

The article noted that recent incidents shed light on the audacity of these crimes. Fink’s Jewelers in Birkdale Village was targeted twice within a month, with suspects smashing display cases and fleeing with jewelry. Approximately 40 pairs of shoes were stolen from Rack Room Shoes in Monroe by a group of juveniles, and at Concord Mills, a smash-and-grab at Key Jewelers resulted in the loss of two Rolex watches valued at $34,050.

“What was considered at one time an invisible crime is now occurring more often in plain sight,” said David Johnston, NFR vice president of Asset Protection and Retail Operations, per the report. “These acts are occurring more openly, and thieves have become more brazen and aggressive in their efforts to steal merchandise.”

Cohen believes that the lenient punishment for shoplifters contributes to this ongoing problem. He stresses that until the laws change and misdemeanors turn into felonies or possibly result in jail time, these crimes will persist as a growing issue. “And oh, by the way, we as the consumer are paying the price for this,” he said, per the article.

NRF is advocating for Congress to pass an act that would enhance resources and coordination between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to combat this escalating challenge.

Learn more in the entire Queen City News article.

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