‘Tis the Season for Stealing: The Ten Most Shoplifted Items During the Holidays

With throngs of people flooding stores during the holiday season, thieves have the perfect opportunity to slip by unnoticed. So what holiday gifts to crooks fancy the most?

Adweek reports that shoplifting is up 6% from 2010 and that 1 in 11 holiday shoppers will ‘accidentally’ forget to pay for at least one item. This adds up to an estimated loss $119 billion (1.45 percent of total sales) for merchants.

Johnny Custer, director of field operations for Merchant Analytic Solutions, said:

“Most shoplifters simply succumb to temptation. But add a sense of desperation because of the economy and holiday pressures, and you have the recipe for theft soup.”

Here are the ten most stolen items during the holidays.

  1. Filet Mignon – The loss rate for luxury meat has risen by 21 percent between 2009 and 2011
  2. Hard Liquor – From underage kids looking for a holiday party, to alcoholics who want to treat themselves to a free bottle of booze, the shrinkage rate for liquor is 2.9% in North America.
  3. DIY Items – Tooth brushes, power tools, and razors. These thieves may want to better their lives, but they don’t want to pay for it.
  4. Handheld Electronics – As electronics get smaller and pricier, they’ve become the perfect target for holiday thieves.
  5. Razor Blades and Shaving Products – After shopping for friends and families, there just isn’t enough money for basic items. Read Hayes, director of the Loss Prevention Research Council, said: “In bad economic times, you’ll see more basic items stolen.”
  6. Deodorant – The deodorant choice for thieves, according to Adweek, is Axe.
  7. Clothes – Since 2009, clothing theft has increased 31%.
  8. Hot Toys – Items on the 2011 Toys ‘R Us “Hot Toys” list are expected to be prime targets this year.
  9. Perfume – “Highly desirable and often small in size, [they] can be extremely vulnerable to theft,” reads The 2011 Global Retail Theft Barometer report.
  10. Sneakers – Shoplifters can easily swap out shows during an annual holiday theft run.

Have you ever ‘accidentally’ stolen from a store?