Local shoplifting spike, national statistics show growing trend

Latest statistics show 1 in 11 Americans shoplift

SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio - Some northeast Ohio law enforcement agencies are reporting a spike in shoplifting, as we make our way into the center of the holiday shopping season.

South Euclid police reported several cases since October - some of the suspect arrests captured on police body camera video.

South Euclid Assistant Chief Joe Mays told News 5 some of the offenders are caught repeatedly, and that it's up to parents and family members to monitor their children, and get those arrested the help the they need.

"It's a consistent cycle of individuals who commit these shoplifting offenses," said Mays. "Parents should know where your kids are, what they're doing, and who they're hanging out with. We've had instances where we've gone into a home and a parent will say well yeah they came home with a television, but they told me they got it from a friend."

Nationally, the most recent statistics from the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention are alarming,

The association reports one out of every 11 Americans are shoplifting, with 27 million people now shoplifting nationwide.

Barbara Staib with NASP told News 5 offenders are only caught once out of every 48 times they steal, and are prosecuted only 50 percent of the time.

"So the message that goes out to the offenders is that shoplifting is a low risk, high reward activity," said Staib.

Dr. Richard Klein, Cleveland State Professor of Urban Studies, told News 5 over the past ten years there has been an 85 percent increase in criminal activity related to shoplifting.

Klein believes the spike in shoplifting is, in part, due to a growing attitude among young people across the country.

"They believe, many of them, that they are entitled to things, whether they are or they're not," said Klein. "And they think that large companies will not feel the loss."

Meanwhile, South Euclid police warn local big box stores have increased their loss prevention effort this holiday season.

The nationwide statistics now show more than 10 million have been arrested for shoplifting in the U.S. in just the past 5 years.

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