(WGHP) — Multiple people charged with retail theft appeared before a judge in Forsyth County on Thursday afternoon.
Retail theft is a crime that has been increasing nationally and also right here in the Piedmont Triad.
On Monday afternoon, the Greensboro Police Department posted a picture to their Facebook page about a suspect wanted for stealing from Best Buy, allegedly taking more than $2,500 worth of camera equipment.
Antidotally, we have seen an uptick throughout the pandemic,” said Elizabeth Robinson, senior vice president of the North Carolina Retail Merchant Association.
She says they can blame a crisis like the pandemic for the increased crimes.
Robinson says shoplifting happens at box stores you may shop at including, Walmart, Target, Lowes and Home Depot.
The thefts add up to billions in losses every year.
“As methods become more sophisticated, and we’re in the digital age, a lot of products that are targeted by retail theft rings are pharmaceutical items, health and beauty care items, which is sold then potentially online, so it’s harder to safeguard some of those products being in consumer households,” she said.
The National Retail Federation reports $61.7 billion in 2019, up from $50.6 billion the year before, mostly because of shoplifting.
“Unfortunately, sometimes that can result in a higher cost in consumer goods because of the shrinkage that retailers face and the significant amount of resources retailers…have to put into their business to combat these thefts. That’s what we want to prevent…so that this doesn’t affect consumers and prices they see at retail,” Robinson said.
Loss prevention experts wanted to remind you to be cautious of where you buy your items from. Make sure they are from reputable sources.
If you happen to see someone in the act of shoplifting, you should report it to a manager or your local law enforcement.