Teen shoplifting can be a phase but here are the facts:
Approximately 25 percent of shoplifters are juveniles
75 percent are adults and 55 percent say that they started in their teens.
This is a huge problem, costing retailers in the US more than $35 million per day.
And all of us pay for it?
This theft is often not premeditated. 72% of kids and 73% of adults didn’t plan to steal. They simply had the opportunity to take something for nothing, and they risked it.
Ask a young shoplifter why they did it and most frequently they'll say, “I don’t know.”
An addiction to shoplifting can develop very quickly because of 2 reasons:
1) Shoplifters can get away with it. (They get caught once in 48 times).
2) There is a ‘high’ (adrenaline rush) every time they get away with it.
So similar to any addict, they’re chasing the high.
For the millions of people who shoplift and are not professionals or kleptomaniacs, shoplifting is another maladaptive way of coping with stressful events in their lives. This is similar to over eating, drinking, drugs or gambling. Anyone can have this problem: rich or poor, young or old, educated or illiterate. All of them resort to theft to get high.
Teen shoplifting is similar adults, however their emotional issues are different. Their problems revolve around family, school and their peer group. They’ll resort to the ‘high’, when they feel particularly unworthy, angry, depressed, unattractive or not accepted.
“No excuse? Theft is a crime and jail is the answer.”
I agree. A criminal should be stopped. The paradox here is that by the time these people are caught they’ve committed the theft approx. 48 times. The adrenaline rush can be addictive. Thousands of shoplifters repeat the offense and want to stop, but they can’t. For the non-professional, jail should not be the only solution.
As with every other addiction, counseling, before prison is usually recommended.
Most shoplifters are not hardened criminals.
Counseling for shoplifters – adult or adolescent – is the only way to prevent this repeated crime.