There is a widely held and popular view that shoplifters are skilled criminals, taking high value items to sell on, often to feed a drug or alcohol habit. While that is true of many, there are also wealthy people who shoplift when they are well able to afford to pay for the goods that they steal. A number of high-profile cases, including celebrities, have reached the media in recent years. So why do wealthy people steal?

There is no pattern to the goods that non-professional shoplifters take. It can be anything from a few food items to household goods. Often they attach some kind of symbolic relevance to what they take; one lady, for example, couldn’t explain why she had taken a wrench, until she realised that it was because her mechanic husband had been diagnosed with cancer. Almost without fail, they have no idea why they have committed a needless crime when they are, in all other respects, honest people. Psychologists suggest that it is to deal with some kind of emotional need – the same drive which causes some people to binge drink and others to binge eat. They need the high that it gives them: the feeling that they’ve taken a needless risk and have gotten away with it. Remorse and shame may well follow when reality kicks in, or when they find themselves detained or charged with a criminal offence.

Dealing with this kind of retail theft can be difficult, as it usually only involves a few, small items, so behaviour patterns may not arouse the suspicions of covert surveillance staff. Enigma Security (Europe) Ltd is a family run business with extensive experienced in meeting such challenges. It is possible, with expert advice, to reduce shoplifting, so give us a call to find out how we can help.