Shoplifting's Effects on Shoppers

September 8, 2003 - Posted at: 10:00 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, Ark. -- Every year shoplifters create a $10 billion dollar hole in the retail industry, and the payback comes out of your pockets.

At a rate of $27 million dollars a day nationwide that can quickly empty your pockets. Officer Jeff Vernon of the Jonesboro Police Department says that once caught, shoplifters pay for the crime.

"Theft is a Class A misdemeanor, if it's under a certain amount," Vernon said. "Most people do go to court if they are first-time offenders. They do get a few days in jail, and they have to take a shoplifting class they can be fined up to $1000."

Many stores have beefed up security. Retailers say every step stores take to decrease their losses cuts back on the increase you pay at the register. But who pays for the merchandise that makes it out gratis? You do.

"With the shoplifting going on in retail, the consumer pays for it," said Andy Sanders of Sears inside Indian Mall. "Because every business writes that in to their losses so it does up the price that the people pay in the store."