Consumers pay the price for shoplifting - CBS 5 - KPHO

Consumers pay the price for shoplifting

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(WOIO) -

The holiday season also means shoplifting season but it's not a victim-less crime.

You end up paying the price at the stores.

Shoplifting costs retailers billions of dollars a year and police say the holiday season is prime time for thieves.

The weeks leading up to Christmas are some of the busiest days for shoppers.  They're also some of the busiest days for thieves.   

Shoplifting is one of the most prevalent crimes in the U.S.

"It's about a $13 billion dollars a year business that affects the consumers, the retailers and it drives the prices up for the consumer," said police Detective Bo Beck.

It drives the prices up because retailers are forced to raise their prices to make up for losses.

That means honest consumers wind up paying more.

Experts say price inflation from retail theft costs an average family several hundred dollars a year.

"I think it's a terrible thing we have to bear the brunt of that kind of thing," said shopper Bill Burross.

The National Association for Shoplifting Prevention says most shoplifters are not caught, and only about half who are caught are prosecuted due to the cost to follow up on the cases.

Clothing is stolen most frequently.  But police say shoplifters target higher-end merchandise in hopes of selling it on the street.

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