Study finds employee theft on the rise

A report by Jack L. Hayes International, a loss prevention and inventory shrinkage control consulting firm, found that both shoplifting and stealing by employees are increasing, although the latter is growing at a faster clip. An annual survey of large retailers found that shoplifter apprehensions and recovery dollars rose 5.8% in 2011, while the same measurements applied to dishonest employees increased 11.4%.

“It should also be noted that shoplifter apprehensions and recovery dollars have increased eight of the past 10 years," said Mark Doyle, president of the Wesley Chapel, Fla.-based firm.

Broken down even further, shoplifter apprehensions rose 6.0% and dishonest employee apprehensions rose 3.3%; the recovery dollars from these apprehensions was up 13.9% for shoplifters and 5.6% for dishonest employees.

The 24th Annual Retail Theft Survey involved participants from 24 large retail companies with 18,518 stores and more than $589 billion in retail sales last year. On a per-company basis, one in every 36 employees was apprehended for theft from their employer in 2011 (based on more than 2.8 million employees). On a per-case average, dishonest employees steal approximately 5.9 times the amount stolen by shoplifters ($665.77 versus $113.30).

For more survey results, visit

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