Chicago has been the hub of many things for more than 100 years. Most recently the Illinois city has been cited as one of the locations with the most retail theft in the country.
Instances of organized retail theft are on the rise nationally, and Chicago is among large cities getting hit hard. This according to the Chicago Tribute.
Chicago ranked among the top 10 cities in which rings of thieves steal large quantities of goods, such as designer jeans and small appliances. The goods are sold online or at such locations as flea markets or sometimes by legitimate small businesses. Other cities on the list are also major metropolitan locations, including New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Houston and the Baltimore/Washington area.
Organized retail crime has risen each of the past eight years. In 2010, 89 percent of retailers experienced some form of retail theft. This year, it was 96 percent. Losses are estimated at $15 billion to $30 billion each year.
Stolen credit cards used to purchase items is one of the most popular forms of retail theft in Chicago. Small appliances and gift cards are the primary targets of theft.
In other cases, thieves steal large quantities of designer jeans and ship them to Asia or Eastern Europe, where they are sold on the black market for quadruple the price.
Theft causes loss of jobs and higher retail prices. Cutting costs, like security only results in more theft.
The profit margins for thieves are upwards of 70% when sold online. Standard offline sales generate profit margins of 30%.
Doesn’t theft just make you sick? Why do people feel it is OK to steal? We need more stop theft classes, mandated at younger ages to instill good values in our youth.