Essay about Shoplifting: A Hard Habit to Break

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Shoplifting: A Hard Habit to Break

Erik* walks up to me outside of the Diesel store on Newbury Street.

“I needed new jeans,” he said.

A little further away from the store he shows me the pants that cost about $150 in he store, he shoplifted or as he says "scooped" two pairs. Inside the bag with the pants are a few shirts and the shoes he is wearing he tells me he switched with shoes he had on.

Erik is 22, he does it because he says he is feeding an addiction. His name has been changed for anonymity.

“No drugs, I don’t drink, I’m in shape, but every day if I come home after work without something I have to go back out and get it,” he said. “I take things because I can’t stop,” he says.

“A lot of it I end up giving away because I
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Gucci has security officer in their store. In their spring inventory data he reported $5,000 worth of merchandise missing due to “unknown theft.” Although according to Lane, approximately $140,000 in merchandise is missing.

An unknown theft is someone that makes it out with the stolen item, a known theft gets caught. The “regulars” Lane was referring to are shoplifters they see on tape frequently. “They wait till the security officer goes to lunch,” said Lane rolling his eyes.

Most people that get caught have smaller items according the Lane and his loss prevention report. “Usually a handbag or wallet or small luggage, so approximately $750,” he said.

Although a $750 item might seem like a lot to the average American apparently shoplifters at Gucci have only the best taste. They come from the brand specific breed of shoplifters.

“Well, you have the kind that steal from Gap, Banana Republic, Baby Gap, etc. and then you have those that steal from Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Neiman Marcus, etc,” said Lane.

Lane said that generally the people that steal from the latter group are older. “We don’t get a lot of ‘kids’ in our store,” he said. He says the people that steal from the others can be any age really.

Erik informed me that much of his own shoplifting is done in dressing rooms. When asked if they keep video cameras in their dressing rooms Lane says that they are “illegal.” But Lane says most of the shoplifting is done in

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