British Journal of Criminology Volume: 45 Issue: 3 Dated: May 2005 Pages: 395-401
This study conducted interviews with male offenders in order to provide a better understanding of what happens to stolen goods post-theft and determine the role shoplifting plays in the lives of burglars.
As part of a larger study on stolen-goods markets, interviews with 50 male offenders were conducted to examine disposal patterns of stolen goods. In addition, an attempt was made to discover the role shoplifting played in the lives of prolific burglars. Shoplifting is seen as a far less serious crime than burglary which is reflected in its apparent lower status among criminals and the lack of official attention by the police in the United Kingdom. Of the 50 offenders interviewed, 44, or 88 percent, admitted to committing shop theft. Twenty-six of them did so daily. However, differences were found with regard to the specific crimes of shoplifting and burglars. The primary method by which stolen goods were sold was the same for shoplifted goods as for burgled goods. In regards to earnings, 19 earned more money each week from burglary, whereas 11 earned more from shoplifting. Shoplifting is seen as playing an instrumental role in offending patterns of prolific burglars. This challenges the notion that shoplifting is a less serious crime than burglary. It is argued that by detecting more shop theft, crime-reduction initiative might also increase their detections for burglary. References