Shoplifting On The Rise During Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has led to a lot of negative effects in the United States. While many have died from the virus, many are struggling to survive. They have been laid off from jobs. Their stimulus checks have already been spent. They’re living paycheck to paycheck, one day at a time.

Many are resorting to stealing for survival. While many crimes have decreased since last year’s COVID quarantines and lockdowns, shoplifting and other types of theft are on the rise throughout the country. Retailers—especially grocery stores—have seen more theft during the pandemic as layoffs have led to fewer employees. Plus, customers are forced to wear masks and the self-checkout lanes in many stores are encouraging theft.

In late 2020, it was revealed that shoplifting for groceries had reached record levels, especially in Philadelphia, New York City, and other areas with high levels of joblessness. Pasta, bread, baby formula, and cleaning supplies are the items that have been stolen the most. But it’s not just individuals engaging in theft. There have been many reports of shoplifting rings. Many people have been arrested for theft in the past year. Smaller businesses are especially feeling the pain.

Even though the COVID crisis is lessening, conditions are still ripe for shoplifting. In many areas, masks are still required while shopping and performing other errands. While the unemployment rate is improving, it’s still not where it was before the pandemic started. Plus, there is still a significant amount of loss tied to self-checkouts, as the customer is using the checkout on their own without a cashier present to account for all the items.

There are more opportunities for theft now that store employees have been diverted elsewhere, such as the front doors to limit customers and deal with those who refuse to wear masks. Plus, there are fewer employees to carry out tagging on inventory, which means more products can be easily stolen since they’re not being tracked properly.

Desperate Times

When people are desperate, they will often go to extreme measures. And right now, people aren’t desperate for the latest iPhone, cars, or high-end electronics. They’re desperate for basic necessities. And while it’s a lot more difficult to keep a roof over their head, many are stealing food. In fact, according to a survey in late October and early November, more than 25 million Americans reported that there were times when they didn’t have adequate food in the past week. People are stealing because they’re hungry and they have nowhere else to turn.

Contact a Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Shoplifting may not seem like a serious crime to many people. However, based on the amount of goods stolen, you could face felony charges as well as jail time and hefty fines.

If you have been accused of any type of theft, you need a solid defense. The Glen Burnie theft lawyers at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. can help you get a favorable outcome. To schedule a consultation, call (410) 774-5987 or fill out the online form. We have two offices to serve you.


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