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shoplifting, Lake County criminal defense attorneyShoplifting is one of the most common crimes in the country, but it can have effects that are far-reaching to businesses, lawmakers, and to society as a whole. The crime is so common, in fact, that there is a National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, working to both reduce the number of shoplifting incidents in the United States and to discourage would-be shoplifters from committing such crimes. More than 10 million individuals have been arrested or accused of shoplifting in the last half decade, and current estimates suggest that 1 in every 11 people in the United States have shoplifted at one time or another.

Common Misconceptions

Because it is frequently a minor misdemeanor crime, shoplifting is often considered alongside crimes committed by juveniles, which are often offenses that do not, and cannot, affect one’s permanent record. Yet, the effects of shoplifting do, in fact, stay on a person’s record for a long time and can effect a person’s ability to find work—perpetuating an ugly cycle that, in many instances, led to the incident in the first place.

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shoplifting, retail theft, Lake County criminal defense attorneyWhile shoplifting may seem to be a rather victimless crime—the offense affects a corporation, rather than the livelihood of an immediate person—shoplifting is in fact a crime that affects us all, from law enforcement to retail managers to the legal system. Dealing with small or misdemeanor crimes such as retail theft costs money and time for communities from the ground up. And with more than 27 million shoplifters nationwide (that comes down to about one in every 11 people across the country), it is no small problem.

Surprising Statistics

Contrary to popular opinion, adults actually shoplift more than kids: three-quarters of all shoplifters are adults at the time of the alleged incident, though more than half of these admit to having begun shoplifting in their teenage years. Methods for shoplifting vary, but it is common that a person would buy something at the same time that he or she shoplifts, which some researchers say is thought to be a “cover” for these thieves. The crime is difficult to pinpoint, however, in part because the vast majority of these incidents are not pre-meditated; 73 percent of adult and 72 percent of young shoplifters report that they did not plan to steal in advance.

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