What Are The Most Commonly Stolen Items In Stores?

Written by on September 15, 2013 in Money - No comments | Print this page


Theft is a problem to some degree in just about every retail establishment in the world, however in major outlets like supermarkets and drug stores, there are certain items that are targeted far more than others.

Whether someone is stealing something because they need it and can’t afford it or because they are planning to sell it on for money, there are certain types of product that are stolen far more than others. As a counter measure, the majority of stores will try and keep these items in the most secure parts of the shop, where staff can keep an eye on them or where customers may need to ask to be able to get them.

However, they are still more likely to be stolen (or attempted to be stolen) than the other goods in the store. Here are the things thieves tend to target and why:

Small, High Value Items

While when you think of small, high value items you may think of things like diamond rings, in actual fact it tends to be more things that are easy to secrete away in clothes and bags but which have a comparatively higher value than other small items.

Cosmetics are one common example, as things like lipsticks and eye pencils can be quite expensive but are small enough for an opportunist thief to stash away when nobody is looking.

Razors are another well known target for thieves in supermarkets and drug stores which is why you will often see them in their own area near the counters, or even behind the counter, rather than with other cheaper skin care products. People tend to steal these things to use for themselves rather than to sell on, and by their nature they are also attractive to juvenile thieves.

Alcohol and Medication


Probably the most commonly stolen thing in supermarkets and drug stores is alcohol. This can be the work of teenagers who aren’t legally able to buy it but want it for parties, or can be because homeless people and alcoholics steal it because they need it but don’t have the money to pay for it.

The problem is even bigger in states where supermarkets and drugstores can sell hard liquor as well as beer and wine. Most stores keep a close eye on the areas where their alcoholic drinks are displayed, and use things like store detectives and a business security system with cameras to monitor it.

Electronics and Accessories

If someone wants to steal something to sell, the most common targets are electronic goods and their accessories, for example anything relating to phones, TVs, computers and tablets, but also things like kitchen gadgets.

This is because they are easy enough to sell on and are worth quite a lot. These tend to be stolen by thieves who regularly steal and fence items, so are less of a target for opportunists. Stores apply tight security to the top end items, but a lot of electronics are found just in normal parts of stores where an experienced shoplifter may see them as easy prey.

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Today’s feature writer, Kate Harris works for AAA Satellite which provides a wide range of surveillance equipment. She is a fitness enthusiast and she practices martial arts when she isn’t busy working.


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