Top 22 most shoplifted items

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The National Retail Federation (NRF) reports that for the first time in more than two decades, organized crime is the No. 1 problem for theft at retail.

Historically, most theft at retail was because of ‘shrinkage,’ which is when errant employees steal from the store. But now the crime rings are doing significant damage. The average theft per shoplifting occurrence is now roughly $320, according to the NRF!

So what are the criminals stealing? Here’s are the top 22 items:


Energy drinks
High-end liquor
Infant formula

Health and beauty

Teeth whitening strips
Pregnancy tests

Over-the-counter medicine

Allergy medicine
Diabetic testing strips
Pain relievers
Weight loss pills


Denim pants
Designer clothing


High-end vacuums
High-end appliances
Children’s electronic toys
Laundry detergent


GPS devices
Cell phones

The crime rings generally look for anything small that will bring great money when it is fenced.

So what does this all mean to you? You should expect retailers — both the good ones and the bad ones — to double down on their brutally tough retail policies. Don’t be surprised if you’re practically treated as a criminal when you go to return something — especially if you don’t have the receipt!


More and more stores now have those gift receipts if you ask. So be sure to ask for them to help make returns easier. Some retailers maintain databases by driver’s license of how many returns you make over time. They may shut you down if you try returning something without that physical receipt — even if it is a legit purchase.

For your phone, there are a number of apps that will catalog receipts for you. All you do is take a picture of the receipt and these apps will catalog by date and store. So that way you do have a proof of purchase.

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