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Shoplifting Costs Average Consumer Hundreds of Dollars

Many shoppers in Maryland are out to find the best bargains during tax free week. But what they don't know is shoplifters are also out.

HAGERSTOWN, MD- Shoplifters cost the average consumer $400 every year.

According to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, about one in every 11 people are shoplifters, and they steal more than $13 billion worth of goods each year.

In order to compensate for money lost from thieves, retailers mark up prices, taking more money out of your wallet.

“We work really hard and we try to get things on sale and we go without so we can provide for our kids, and just to know that we have to work harder for everyone else that's stealing that's pretty bad,” said Maryland resident Kelly Mullendore.

The Washington County sheriff's office says shoplifting happens regularly in the area.

“As far as shopliftings that have been reported to the sheriff's office, in the month of May we had seven, in June we had 12 reported, July we had 14, and from August 1st to the present date, we've had nine,” said Washington County Deputy First Class Carly Hose.

Law enforcement officials say there are several things retailers can do to prevent shoplifting and to catch retail thieves in action.

“Making sure that their employees are aware of some of the scams that go on,” said Hose. “The distractions schemes. Some of the items to look for when someone is shoplifting, whether it's the bags that are lined so they don't set off the security monitors at the store, looking for someone that is acting in a suspicious manner.”

Shoplifting happens more often when there are more shoppers in general, so the sheriff's office says store owners and employees need to be extra alert during holidays and tax free shopping days.

 

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