Why Do People Commit Retail Theft?
Retail theft is a serious property crime. If you are convicted of retail theft, you may face severe consequences including a permanent criminal record, fines, jail time, and a damaged reputation. Let us take a closer look at what retail theft is and what motivates people to commit it.
What is Retail Theft?
Also known as shoplifting, retail theft occurs when someone illegally takes possession of, transfer, or carries away any merchandise that is for sale by a retail store. In simple terms, it is stealing from a retailer. Believe it or not, one out of every 11 Americans engage in retail theft.
Reasons Retail Theft Occurs
Someone’s gender, race, income, age, or occupation does not increase their chances of shoplifting. People from all walks of life commit this crime for a variety of reasons including:
- Loss. Research has proven that loss can motivate someone to shoplift. Whether they have lost a relationship, friendship, or job, they feel deprived and are searching for a way to compensate their loss symbolically.
- Depression. People who are lonely and depressed are likely to engage in retail theft. Stealing items from a retailer can help them feel more powerful and may provide them with a temporary sense of relief to their loneliness or depression.
- Peer Pressure. Often time, younger people who shoplift do so because of peer pressure from their friends or acquaintances. They may feel like they have to steal in order to show that their brave and fun and fit in with their peers.
- Lack of Money. Retail theft also occurs when someone does not have the money to buy something they need. For example, a mother may steel food, diapers, and clothing to support their children because they cannot afford these basic necessities.
- Kleptomania. Kleptomania is a mental health disorder that someone may have if they steal without needing to. Symptoms of kleptomania include the inability to resist urges to steal items that are not necessary, feeling tension or arousal leading up to theft, or feeling pleasure or gratification while stealing.
- Low Risk. Unfortunately, shoplifters do not always get caught. It is a low risk crime that gives many people a thrill.
Contact Our Lombard Retail Theft Attorneys
If you are charged with retail theft and searching for experienced legal representation, reach out to our Lombard retail theft attorneys today. For a free, no-obligation consultation in English or Polish, call us at 630-953-3000.