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CVS, Home Depot, Ulta and Target all have something in common. They’re struggling to keep up with organized crime rings stealing from their stores in bulk and selling the goods online, often on Amazon.

Kroger is Americas largest grocery store chain. Competition has been fierce but they have also see organized criminal shoplifers stealing from them as well.

Given the staggering $45 billion in lost merchandise, it has the collateral effect of making things cost more. The racketeers are better organized than ever and many who buy goods on Amazon end up becoming an unwitting fence. Some hot merchandise also surfaces on eBay and other markets.

Usually unlicensed copying of games gets more attention but retailers are struggling. Stores have lots of security cameras but this does not stop thieves from moving to steal everything in sight.

Amazingly, in California, a video of a shoplifter walking away showed that staff were not allowed to apprehend. Small wonder losses are sky high. Most likely the police are disinterested in petty crime in favor of shootings and homicide.

Written accounts of shoplifting go back at least as far as Shakespearean times. In 1591, a playwright for the Bard’s Company named Robert Greene wrote a pamphlet that gave counsel to potential shoplifters, advising that they should be “attired in the form of a civil country gentleman.” Due to a huge rise in shoplifting in the second half of the 17th century, the Shoplifting Act in 1699 made shoplifting more than five shillings worth of goods punishable by death by hanging. They enforced the act, hanging numerous shoplifters in the 18th century in Europe, even for small thefts. One woman, Mary Jones, was hanged in 1771 for stealing a piece of linen to make clothes for her baby.

Police and merchant data shows that shoplifters are caught an average of only once every 48 times they commit an act of thievery. When they are caught, stores and retailers contact the police and have shoplifters arrested approximately 50% of the time. Retailers and businesses around the world spend about $26.8 billion a year to stop shoplifters and thieves, a dollar amount that has grown at a rate of almost 10% per year in the last 5 years.


Blocking the few ads here amounts to shoplifting. Adblock users are amazingly self rightious believing they have a right to do what they want. The DCMA says that circumventing DRM is an offence and its also a copyright infringement issue.

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