The Statistics and Stories Behind Holiday Retail Theft

While the holiday season is a time for relaxing and giving thanks for most, those who work in retail know that the holidays mean an increased risk of loss. According to the Jack L. Hayes International Annual Retail Theft Survey, over 1.2 million shoplifters and dishonest employees were apprehended during the holiday season in 2015. The survey polled 25 of the largest retail companies in the US with total 23,250 stores. Over $225 million worth of merchandise was recovered from the crimes.

The Statistics and Stories Behind Holiday Retail Theft

The Hayes International survey stated that over 80,000 of the 1.2 million thefts reported were the result of dishonest retail employees. It was also reported that employee theft typically results in a bigger financial loss than shoplifting does, as the average employee theft costs a company six times more than the average shoplifting theft. This is why it’s extremely important for retailers to invest in CCTV video surveillance systems and electronic access control systems. With these two features, retailers can keep tabs on their employees and know exactly when certain employees accessed high value storage areas.

The combination of dishonest employees, burglaries and cargo thefts all combine to create a deadly combination for retailers during the holiday season. When retailers don’t have a reliable, professional security systems installed, they’re left very vulnerable to theft during the holidays. We have compiled examples of each of the three most threatening forms of holiday retail theft (employee theft, burglaries and cargo theft) below. Continue reading to learn from past cases of holiday retail theft.


Florida Burglars Break Into Liquor Store and Jewelry Store on Christmas Eve

According to News4Jax, two burglars entered a Jacksonville Beach liquor store on Christmas Eve and then broke through the wall of the liquor store to gain access to an adjoining jewelry store. Police were alerted to the crime because of an alarm that went off at one of the stores, and the burglars were caught on surveillance footage inside of the jewelry store.

Unfortunately for the store owners, the burglars were wearing masks and weren’t easily identifiable.

The lesson to be learned here is that even if your store is properly secured, if you have an adjoining business attached to your business, it could pose as a security threat to you. The jewelry store was accessed by the burglars through the liquor store, and thankfully they had the proper security system in place.


Charity Worker Steals Christmas Presents Intended for Needy Children

According to CBS New York, a worker at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) was charged with larceny and possessing stolen goods from charity collection boxes in the hallways of the NYCHA offices at 250 Broadway. Luckily for the NYCHA, their surveillance footage provided a clear image of the culprit and police were able to use the footage to catch the criminal. The crime was originally noticed by an employee who donated a toy to a bin one day and noticed that the gift was missing the next.


Florida Thieves Target Seven Cargo Locations in Holiday Season Theft Ring

According to News4Jax, five people were arrested in connection to a statewide cargo theft ring last February after targeting seven different cargo locations throughout Florida during the holiday season. Officials said thieves stole a parked truck from outside of a warehouse, trespassed into a shipping yard and stole from multiple trucks. The thieves also stole over $100,000 worth of tires and over $50,000 worth of sugar.

The suspects were caught after stealing $150,000 worth of cargo from Jacksonville. Attorney General Pam Bondi said these suspects typically traveled from Miami-Dade County in a rental vehicle to search for tractor trailers they could easily steal. Once they stole cargo and trailers, they returned to Miami to sell the stolen property on the black market. This is why it pays to equip your warehouse or shipping yard with video surveillance, perimeter protection and motion detection. Organized criminals are ruthless and will make any and all attempts to capitalize on on a business’ warehouse vulnerabilities.


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