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FRUITLAND PARK, Fla. -- More than 750,000 shoplifters and dishonest employees were apprehended in 2004 by just 27 U.S. retail companies, according to the 17th Annual Retail Theft Survey, conducted by Jack L. Hayes International.
The loss prevention and inventory shrinkage control consulting firm's survey also reported that these 27 retail companies lost over $4.7 billion to shoplifting and employee theft in 2004.
"The losses are staggering and continue to amaze us, especially the shoplifting statistics over the past several years," said Mark R. Doyle, president. "Both the number of shoplifters apprehended and the dollars recovered from those apprehensions increased for the fourth straight year. Reversing a three-year trend, the number of dishonest employees apprehended and the dollars recovered from those apprehensions also increased in 2004."
Hayes added, "Shoplifting and employee theft are serious crimes which continue to negatively affect retailers' bottom-line profits. These crimes continue to hurt our economy, costing consumers higher prices, and causing a loss of jobs when stores close or retailers go out of business."
This annual survey reports on over 750,000 apprehensions that occurred in just 27 large retail companies representing 12,908 stores with combined 2004 annual sales in excess of $441 billion.
Following are some survey highlights:
-- Total apprehensions of both shoplifters and dishonest employees in 2004 increased 4.78 percent (718,264 vs. 752,629) over 2003.
-- Total dollar recoveries from apprehended shoplifters and dishonest employees exceeded $112 million, an increase of 3.26 percent over 2003.
-- Only 2.74 percent of total retail theft losses resulted in a recovery. This means for every $1 recovered, $36.47 was lost to retail theft.
-- For the fourth straight year, the number of shoplifters apprehended (689,340) and the dollars recovered from those apprehensions ($70.0 million) increased (4.86 percent and 1.61 percent, respectively).
-- One in every 27.8 employees was apprehended for theft from his or her employer (based on more than 1.7 million employees.)
-- The number of dishonest employees apprehended (63,289) and the dollars recovered during those apprehensions ($42.4 million) increased in 2004 (4.01 percent and 6.10 percent, respectively), reversing a three-year trend.