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For most people the Christmas shopping season means spending a little more to share gifts with friends. For those in who work in the retail sector, the busy holiday season is a time to boost their loss-prevention efforts. Studies reveal that one in every 11 people who walk into a store are likely to walk out with at least one item they did not pay for. That translates to an estimated loss of $119 billion over the course of a year, roughly 1.45 percent of total sales. Authorities say only a small percentage of shoplifters are “professionals” who sell stolen goods to make a living. Most offenders are amateurs whose crimes arise from opportunity.

Security professionals say the list of items most often stolen include prime cuts of meat, liquor, hygiene products, small electronic devices, and shoes. Statistics reveal shoplifting has been up the past couple of years due to economic pressures. Barbara Staib, spokesperson for the National Association of Shoplifting Prevention says the problem comes from an unusual source. Three-quarters of shoplifters are adults with jobs, not troubled teens the homeless. 35 percent of losses happen with the help of a corrupt employee. Staib added, “Seventy percent of shoplifters tell us they didn’t plan to shoplift.”

--Steal This ‘Tis the season, ye Merry Retailers, for Shoplifting; http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/steal-136712; November 29, 2011; Illustration by Jim L. Wilson and Jim Sandell

1 Corinthians 10:12-13 (CEV) “Even if you think you can stand up to temptation, be careful not to fall. (13) You are tempted in the same way that everyone else is tempted. But God can be trusted not to let you be tempted too much, and he will show you how to escape from your temptations.”

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