Store employees must keep an eye out: in just nine months of 2023, nearly 240,000 cases were recorded. shoplifting.
By the end of September 2023, the number of shoplifting crimes recorded by the services amounted to 33,000. – according to police data obtained by “Rzeczpospolita”.
The number of offenses is growing particularly rapidly
This does not exhaust the problem. Theft of goods up to PLN 500 is not a crime, but a misdemeanor. And there were 204,000 more such people in police records during the year. There will be more offenses because the lower limit was increased in October – it is only a crime when the amount of PLN 800 is stolen.
However, the trend is constant. In 2022, the number of shoplifting crimes increased by as much as 31.1%. on an annual basis, to over 32.7 thousand – according to data from the Police Headquarters, published by “Rzeczpospolita” at the beginning of the year. The number of shoplifting offenses increased by 21.5%, to 234,300.
Poverty-theft is a new phenomenon
Cosmetics, small electronics and alcohol most often end up in the pockets of thieves. However, the theft of basic food products: bread, fruit, dairy products is a disturbing phenomenon. While organized groups (not necessarily professionals – sometimes three teenagers, two of whom stand on the lookout and the third hides the bottle in a backpack) are responsible for taking cosmetics from drugstores, food theft occurs during larger purchases, and the motivation is not the desire to earning money on later resale, but hunger and inability to make necessary purchases.
– People buy less because of the ubiquitous prices, and there is also the phenomenon of, as we call it, “poverty-theft.” This shows that the pauperization of society is felt, said several people months ago Renata Juszkiewicz, head of the Polish Trade and Distribution Organization.
Self-service checkouts favor shoplifting. Although stores have ways to control the payment process, many customers still manage to pass off a more expensive product as a cheaper one (e.g., they sell grain bread as the cheapest Balton’s) or paste the barcodes.
A few months ago, local media carried an appeal by police officers from the Siedlce Municipal Police Headquarters to remain focused until leaving the store. Stores of several chains reported thefts that occurred after customers scanned barcodes, swiped the card and, feeling obliged to do so, transferred their purchases and left the store. They did not notice that the terminal was asking them to enter their PIN. When making small purchases, we are rarely asked to enter the code, so you can forget about it.
An unfinished payment also qualifies as theft.