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Why Not Lock Up the Shoplifters, Not the Merchandise?

Retail giant, Target, reports in its first-quarter earnings report that “theft and organized crime” may cost the chain $1.3 billion in losses this year. Who pays for this? The stores and then eventually prices rise on law-abiding shoppers to compensate for the cost of the theft.

So now retailers are retaliating to the shoplifting epidemic. In Chicago, one Walgreens store is experimenting with a new layout that locks away all but two aisles of products from shoppers (see photo). This is the kind of security measure usually restricted to expensive jewelry stores.

The NY Post reports that in the Big Apple retailers are locking away: dishwashing liquid ($2.19), lip balm ($2.79), toothbrushes ($3.99), candies ($3.99), and canned goods. Customers are required to ring a bell and then wait for employees to eventually get the products. Why? Because in New York, shoplifting of less than $1,000 is now a slap-on-the-wrist misdemeanor. No surprise then that retail thefts have spiked by 77% over the past five years.

We call this new leftist policy: crime and no punishment.


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