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Shoplifting is the theft of goods from an open retail establishment, typically by concealing a store item on one's person, in pockets, under clothes, or in a bag, and leaving the store without paying. With clothing, shoplifters may put on items from the store and leave the store wearing the clothes. The terms "shoplifting" and "shoplifter" are not usually defined in law. The crime of shoplifting generally falls under the legal classification of larceny. Shoplifting is distinct from burglary (theft by breaking into a closed store), robbery (stealing by threatening or engaging in violent behavior), or armed robbery (stealing by using a weapon). In the retail industry, the word "shrinkage" (or "shrink") can be used to refer to merchandise lost by shoplifting, but the word also includes loss by other means, such as waste, uninsured damage to products, and theft by store employees.
Shoplifters range from amateurs acting on impulse, to career criminals who habitually engage in shoplifting as a form of income. Career criminals may use several individuals to shoplift, with some participants distracting store employees while another participant steals items. Amateurs typically steal products for personal use, while career criminals generally steal items to resell them in the underground economy. Other forms of shoplifting include swapping price labels of different items, return fraud, or eating a grocery store's food without paying for it. Commonly shoplifted items are those with a high price in proportion to their size, such as disposable razor blades, vitamins, alcoholic beverages, and cigarettes.
Stores use a number of strategies to reduce shoplifting, including storing small, expensive items in locked glass cases; chaining or otherwise attaching items to shelves or clothes racks (particularly expensive items); attaching magnetic or radio sensors or dyepacks to items; installing curved mirrors mounted above shelves or video cameras and video monitors, hiring plainclothes "store detectives" and security guards, and banning the bringing in of backpacks or other bags. Some stores have security guards at the exit, who search backpacks and bags and check receipts. Stores also combat shoplifting by training employees how to detect potential shoplifters.
The first documented shoplifting started to take place in 16th century London. By the early 19th century, shoplifting was believed to be primarily a female activity. In the 1960s, shoplifting began to be redefined again, this time as a political act. Researchers divide shoplifters into two categories: "boosters" (professionals who resell what they steal), and "snitches" (amateurs who steal for their personal use).

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  1. P

    NSW Accidentally shoplifting and got caught

    My question is currently I got caught for shoplifting in woolworth but the security didn’t ask for my ID or to sign any paperwork. He just asked for my age told me not to come back within a year or else he will track my footage and call the police. The product is worth $17. I’m just 15 and I’m...
  2. J

    QLD Minor shoplift- will police come to my house ?

    Hi, I was stupid and had really bad friends, they influenced me to shoplift, after seeing them with goods I got the idea of shoplifting. At first I stole a tshirt at supre for $20 and was able to get away with it. I felt very guilty but After a few days later I went to a different shopping mall...
  3. A

    NSW Caught shoplifting

    Heyyy. I know it’s wrong, will never do it again. But I shoplifted 2 items worth $20 from chemist warehouse a few weeks back. Didn’t get caught or anything. However yesterday I went to there again (no intentions of shoplifting again cause I felt super guilty about it from the last time), as I...
  4. A

    QLD No charge for shoplifting

    Hi I was caught shoplifting in a department store for an amount under $150 and security stopped me after I had left. I returned to the store and was completely embarrassed and felt very ashamed of myself. Undercover security made me sign a trespass notice and banned me from the store for 12...
  5. D

    VIC ShopliftingCCC

    Costco phoned me and asked if I was in their store. I ask why and the costco rep did not give more info. I ended the conversation I got an email 5 hrs later asking to contact them. I did not do that. 2 weeks later I got an sms from the police station asking me to contact them. What are my rights?
  6. D

    VIC Shoplifting at Coles

    Today I was shopping in coles had two of my children with me, I was in a rush to get home. Didn’t empty my shopping bag properly and left a tea tree oil in my shopping bag. Paid for the rest of my groceries and hurried out as it was dinner time. I was approached by a undercover coles recoveries...
  7. A

    NSW Caught shoplifting from 2 stores

    First of all I am so guilty and ashamed of what I did and cannot sleep, eat or do anything now. I swear will not ever think of trying this again.So I came out of Coles without paying for items worth $63. After I exit the store, the lady and a guy came to me, showed her ID(they were undercover...
  8. N

    NSW Shoplifting

    Hi there. I have today been caught for foolish shoplifting in Coles. Never done it before and for something stupid as candy and nuts! I’m in schock that I am jeopardizing my future! I’m a student. The police came, I was banned from coles for 1 year, given a fine of 300AUD. Can you please tell...
  9. brisdesi

    QLD Shoplifting my mistake

    Hi all, My wife shopped at Target. She picked up 4 items of clothing and while scanning at the self service counters, accidentally missed scanning 2 of them. She then walked out of the store to Kmart, didn't like the clothes on sale there and came back to Target to grab a tshirt she liked during...
  10. J

    VIC shoplifting mascara

    I was caught on CCTV shoplifting mascara . I didn't get caught when I took it. Two weeks later I went back to the same shop and the shop assistant said I was banned from the shop as they had footage of me taking the mascara. They didn't ask for my name or anything they just asked me to leave...