Essay by GoNFiSHiN81High School, 11th grade May 2004

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Everyday millions of people buy goods from stores. What most customers and store clerks tend not to notice is the increasing amount of shoplifters. According to Webster's New World Dictionary, a shoplifter is "any person who steals articles from a store during shopping hours." Despite new technologies to prevent shoplifting, this crime is still being committed. It is a frustrating situation to deal with for any store owner. Shoplifting happens everywhere, from rural areas, inner cities, even mini-stores and gas stations (McGoey). It is prevalent all over the world, and more needs to be done to prevent shoplifting.

Shoplifting has become so bad that some people consider it an art. Others enjoy it so much that they say "it's like a drug," they find it exciting, and get a rush out of it. There are even gangs and clubs committed to shoplifting and cheating stores (Segrave). There are some shoplifters who are professionals, meaning they steal to sell and make money off of their spoils.

Many of these professionals steal for a living, so they have a lot of practice. They use many ways to trick and deceive clerks. Some travel in pairs to avoid being caught. One might grab the item, and then pass it on to the other to throw off security. They have many methods, and what is worse is people give tips and help to others (Goldman). There are whole websites dedicated to proper theft techniques. One website is a six page manual that gives instruction on good shoplifting techniques.

Many different types of items are stolen. They can be small electronic equipment such as; hand held palm pilots, lap tops, or video games. Some may specialize in only particular items such as apparel, jewelry, or pharmaceuticals. They may even attempt bigger items such...