Ramp Up Loss Prevention by Knowing What Items are Frequently Stolen

According to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, approximately 27 million people throughout the country can be classified as shoplifters. That’s 1 out of 11 people, and over 10 million people have been caught in the act over the last five years. While there isn’t a standard profile of a typical offender (men and women are equally as likely to commit the crime, for example) there are many common items that shoplifters focus on. Knowing which products to keep a careful eye on is an important step to prevent unnecessary profit losses.

What do shoplifters like to steal most?

Organized retail crime costs the retail industry around $30 million every year, but some items are easier targets than others. Small, high-value items are at the top of shoplifters’ lists because these products are easy to snag, and easy to resell or return at a later date.

Personal care and hygiene items are prime shoplifting targets

Business Insider has created a list of some of the most commonly shoplifted items, and many of them are small personal care and hygiene products that tend to be expensive. These products are easily resold (or traded), and are easily concealed, making them the perfect target for thieves.


Other frequently stolen products, including clothing and electronics

Small products aren’t the only things that shoplifters grab from store shelves. Clothing and electronics are also popular, once again thanks to their high value. Business Insider continues their list of the most regularly shoplifted items with the following:

  • Jeans, especially designer denim
  • Nike shoes
  • Handbags
  • Cell Phones
  • Digital cameras
  • Laptops
  • Televisions
  • Vacuums
  • Kitchen Aid mixers

It’s quite tricky to snag a big screen TV or other bulky items, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Shoplifters are equipped with a variety of techniques: women can hide large items underneath a loose skirt, large jackets can be used to conceal objects, and in the absence of a security check, some thieves even walk right out of the store with their stolen goods.

Commonly stolen food items

Non-edible products aren’t the only things that are nicked off of store shelves. Food is regularly stolen, too.

Cheese is at the top of thieves’ lists worldwide, along with pricey cuts of uncooked meat. Filet mignon is the most commonly stolen cut. Known as “luxury meat,” the loss rate for this particular food variety increased by 21% between 2009 and 2011.

Not surprisingly, expensive liquors are also stolen with alarming frequency. Further, according to an article from Buzzfeed, energy drinks and baby formula are two other common food and beverage items that regularly make it out of the store without payment.

How to prevent shoplifting

There are many traditional ways to prevent unnecessary losses, and retailers are intimately familiar with them: training employees to spot shoplifters, knowing which items are the biggest targets, greeting every customer, and more. However, technology is also an excellent tool to have. Video surveillance, and the data that can be derived from that footage, is a hugely beneficial tool that retailers can use to reduce shoplifting incidents. Plus, the technology is easy to use, giving you more time to focus on running your business.