Survey: Stores see growth in retail crime

A new survey released this week by the Retail Industry Leaders Associations (RILA) shows that retail crime is on the rise.

Of the retailers who participated in the survey, 78 percent reported an increase in amateur and opportunistic shoplifting, 65 percent said they had seen an increase in organized retail crime and 74 percent said that they had seen an increase in the number of stolen items for sale online.

Unlike the crime trends survey that was released last May by RILA, which linked a rise in retail crime to a down economy, the current survey shows crime continuing to rise in an economy that appears to improving. In the previous survey, only 61 percent of respondents reported an increase in amateur/opportunistic theft.

"These trends are deeply troubling. We have seen a steady increase in retail crimes over the last year as criminals continue to take advantage of the economic climate to expand their activity," said Casey Chroust, executive vice president of retail operations for RILA in a prepared statement. "Not only are retailers presented with additional challenges due to these increases in crime, but communities and consumers lose when the proceeds from these crimes are used to fund additional criminal activity."

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