Shoplifters will steal an estimated $1.84 billion in merchandise in the four weeks leading up to Christmas this year, according to a survey of retailers worldwide.
The Global Retail Theft Barometer said that's a 6 percent increase from the $1.7 billion shoplifted during the same period last year.
The Associated Press reported that higher unemployment rates and falling wages have contributed to the rise in theft this Christmas season, with some shoplifters stealing luxury items they can no longer afford, as well as necessities.
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"They shoplift for Christmas gifts, they steal for themselves, for their family," Joshua Bamfield, author of the survey and executive director of the Center for Retail Research, told the AP.
A recent shoplifting case in Gainesville, Florida, involved a couple caught stealing video game consoles — with their 1-year-old son in tow.
There are also many cases of people stealing meat, cheese and alcohol during the holiday season, the Vancouver Sun reported.
According to the Vancouver Sun, there are also professional thieves who take advantage of the crowded stores and harried sales staff at Christmas time.
An estimated one in 11 Americans shoplift, the National Association of Shoplifting Prevention told the AP.
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