Column by Julia Lucio
Shoplifting is more serious than people realize. Maybe it’s because shoplifting is also called “petty theft”, which makes it sound almost insignificant, or maybe it’s because it’s considered a misdemeanor, legally speaking, but rarely is it taken seriously. Still, it is no laughing matter.
Every year, these “petty” crimes result in billions of dollars of retail revenue loss.
Shoplifters may feel that stealing a few small items here and there doesn’t hurt anybody else but the big box store they do it at, but it’s quite the opposite. Shoplifting has a negative effect on other customers. To cope with losses, businesses oftentimes have to raise prices in order to compensate. One time offenders are certainly problematic, but repeats are what’s killing commerce.
Repeats, it seems, have turned shoplifting into a full blown retail business, with he help of, amongst other things, Facebook.
If like me, you frequent groups whose purpose is to buy or sell used stuff, you’ve seen these guys. They constantly post items that are never worn, new, still with tags, mostly name brands and pass them as if their own purchases but got home and realized items didn’t fit.
Except chances are, they probably didn’t.
I’m not sure if the police is monitoring these spots at all, but there is definitely some shady deals being made online.
What you may not know is that buying stolen property makes YOU a thief as well. The Criminal Code stipulates that “Possession of property obtained by crime” is an indictable offense. Now granted, you could claim you didn’t know it was stolen, but if the item you purchased was new, with tags and you didn’t request to see, and keep, the receipt, that story may not fly as easily as you think.
What I’m getting at is that we all have a responsibility to exercise due dilligence. I know the idea of getting a brand new Baby Phat top for 25% of what it’s worth may sound amazing, in theory, but in fact, it’s just not worth it.
Remember, if a deal sounds too good to be true, well, it probably is.