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Prolific Burglars and the Role of Shoplifting

NCJ Number
Security Journal Volume: 16 Issue: 2 Dated: 2003 Pages: 49-60
Jacqueline L. Schneider
Date Published
12 pages
Patterns of shoplifting among persistent burglars in the United Kingdom are addressed in this journal article.
This article presents research that is part of a larger study focusing on the stolen goods market in Shropshire, England. Addressing the issue of whether persistent burglars steal persistently from shops, the author begins by briefly discussing the 50 face-to-face interviews conducted with prolific thieves that comprise the data used in this study. After introducing the market reduction approach, a crime reduction strategy that aims to make it more risky for thieves to steal, implemented by the West Mercia Constabulary from April 2001 to May 2002, the author discusses the frequency with which burglars engage in shoplifting. Findings indicate that 96 percent of thieves admitted to taking drugs 6 months prior to their incarceration for burglary. Furthermore, 88 percent of interview subjects admitted to stealing from shops, with shoplifting described as a primary source of income for 40 percent of the individuals interviewed. This research demonstrates the need to elevate the importance of the crime of shoplifting and shoplifters need to be targeted in a systematic and routine way in order to effectively contribute to crime reduction and prevention in the United Kingdom. Tables, notes


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