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Repetitive Shoplifting in Stockholm, Sweden: A Register Study of 1802 Cases

NCJ Number
Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health Volume: 8 Issue: 4 Dated: 1998 Pages: 256-265
E Sarasalo; B Bergman; J Toth
Date Published
10 pages
Suspects caught shoplifting in Stockholm, Sweden, three times or more in 1993 were studied with respect to the nature of the crimes and the characteristics of the offenders.
The offenders were identified through the Stockholm Police Department's register, which indicated that 78 females and 299 males had been caught shoplifting on a total of 1,802 occasions during the study period. The police register contained information about when and where the crime took place; the value and type of goods; the name, address, and age of the suspect; and whether the suspect denied the crime. Results revealed that males stole more electronic items; females stole more clothes, perfume, and cosmetics. However, the value of the goods stolen was about the same between the sexes. The most common times for being caught were Monday to Thursday, as well as late afternoons. The majority of the shoplifters were unemployed. Results also revealed that homemakers and old-age pensioners shoplifted in the vicinity of their homes more often than others; this finding indicated transportation limitations. The research could not determine whether a connection existed between long-distance shoplifting and the degree of planning. It is also probable that some of those on the police register belonged to the group of pathological shoplifters or kleptomaniacs, although they were not labeled as such in the police reports. Tables, figure, and 31 references (Author abstract modified)


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