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Posted at 12:31 PM ET, 12/02/2011

Retails thefts rise; what’s getting stolen?


Elmo toys are annually all the rage, and they’re a common target for theft during the holidays. (Courtesy Fisher-Price - COURTESY FISHER-PRICE)
Authorities around the D.C. area are scrambling to keep up with thieves who act while stores are packed to the gills with holiday shoppers. the Post’s Allison Klein reported Thursday.

Her story focused on a professional thief zeroing in on a $10,000 watch, but according to data from AdWeek, many of these thieves are actually eyeing items with much lower price point. In fact, some of them could be trading in the Rolexes for a quality ribeye.

Luxury meats like filet mignon top the list of most-stolen items during the holidays, with grocery stores posting a 21 percent rise in the theft of such meats.

Jameson whiskey and electronic gadgets were also near the top of the list, while the latest Elmo toy and Nike shoes rounded out the bottom. Contrary to what you may think, the majority of thieves around the holidays aren’t professional: Data from The National Association of Shoplifting Prevention — who knew? — show that only about three percent of shoplifters are from organized fencing organizations. Compare this with 35 percent of losses that stem from corrupt employees, or the 70 percent of shoplifters who say they didn’t plan to shoplift.

A longtime sluggish economy could be to blame for the pilfering: Data from the National Retail Federation released earlier this year show that shoplifting costs U.S. retailers $37.1 billion in 2010, compared with $33.5 billion in 2009.

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By  |  12:31 PM ET, 12/02/2011

 
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