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Shoplifting and Addiction

In the past shoplifting addictions were associated with women however more recently shoplifting addictions have been associated with men as well as women. Approximately 1 in 11 Americans has shoplifted merchandise. According to recent statistics suggest that there are more than 25 million shoplifters in the US. Most commonly individuals will steal from retail stores such as department stores, supermarkets, specialty shops, convenience stores and drug stores. Shoplifters will often commit crimes of petit theft while purchasing items at the same time.

According to the National Association For Shoplifting Prevention (NASP), there are two types of shoplifters professional shoplifters and non-professional.

More information on criminal representation for Shoplifting arrests may be obtained by visiting William Moore Criminal Defense.

Professional shoplifters: are people who make an career lifestyle of sealing for resale and profit.

Non-professional shoplifters: Are individuals who steal but for the most part of law-abiding citizens. Oftentimes these types of individuals are aware of the consequences of their actions however have formed a habit or addiction to shoplifting. Suchaddictions are very common among Americans. Oftentimes this addiction substitutes for alcohol additions and drug addictions. The motivation behind habitual shoplifters varies per personalities.

Defining a Shoplifting Addiction

The shoplifting addictions can quickly develop when an individual experiences the ‘high’ that temporarily relieves the stress of other problems such as feelings of depression. Poverty frustration, anger or boredom or other feelings that the individual may be seeking to alleviate may be the motive feeding a shoplifting addiction. People experiencing these feelings may feel that they deserve the item rewarding themselves with the high that shoplifting facilitates.

Getting Something for Nothing

A persons reason for stealing will differ according to the circumstances however ‘getting someone for nothing’ constantly symbolizes something more to the shoplifter than the actual value of the item. For some the item substitutes for loss. In situations where an individual experiences personal loss such as a death, divorce and job loss the person may feel they were unfairly deprived therefore seeking to fill that void. For other individuals the act of shoplifting is ‘justifiable payback’ often victimizing another or company. Lastly another person may shoplift as a form of relief of anxiety, depression or mental illness.

Common Causes of Shopping Addiction

Unfortunately there is no easy cure for a shopping addiction. In fact some would describe the act of sealing as an uncontrollable obsession. Most likely the shoplifter is experiences depression causing them to have significant lows in their day-to-day life. Sadly, in order to feel better they will steal unnecessary items to feel better about themselves. Similar to other addiction problems shoplifters will continue to steal as a way to feel better.

Another very common cause is due the contribution of the media. Keeping up with the Kardashians is now a way of life. Society displays the message that self-worth is only seen through trendy material items.

Profile of a Shoplifter

Expert researchers who focus on the psychology of shoplifters have found people who steal can be distributed into 7 different groups.

1. Addiction Compulsive Shoplifters

Described as individuals who feel the need to steal inexpensive items. Often times after the individual steals the item they give away the stolen merchandise. These people may also suffer from gambling addictions and or various mental health disorders.

2. Thrill Seekers

Thrill seekers or compulsive shoplifters don’t steal because they can’t live without the merchandise they often steal for the thrill and risk of being caught.

The feeling individuals get from shoplifting often times is described as a powerful rush producing “incredible feelings of euphoria that surpasses the reward of obtaining the stolen item”Shoplifting Addiction

The motivation of thrill seeking is often common among teens. These individuals more often are repeat offenders who have not been caught and will repeating commit the offense until caught.

3. Disadvantaged Shoplifters

Economic hardship can cause an individual to shoplift for the sole purpose of providing for their family. Items such as food and baby formula are common items stolen. Individuals faced with poverty will participate in stealing simply because a need for survival.

4. Drug Addicts

People faced with drug addictions illnesses, often times will steal in order to support the cost of maintaining their drug habit.

5. Professional Shoplifters

Professional shoplifters are those whom make a career of stealing high-valued items. These individuals will often times steal electronics simply to sell on the black market at a lower cost.

6. Impulsive Shoplifters

Individuals whom make the impulsive decision to shoplift are defined as kleptomaniacs,. Many times these kleptomaniacs repeatedly steal random or bizarre items with no rhyme or reason. For example a woman who steals clothing that is not her size or a individual who steals dog toys even though they do not own a dog.

7. Absent-minded Shoplifters

Absentminded shoplifters simply steal by mistake. These types of people include people on medication and often times are more common among the elderly. This can also be shoppers who are in a hurry and leave the store forgetting to pay for the item.

Help for Shoplifters Facing Chargers

If you or a loved one suffer from shoplifting addiction and now are facing legal charges against you its important to contact an shoplifting attorney. Do not be ashamed petit-theft charges are much more common then people realize. Through proper legal representation a person may be able to have the charges completely dropped.

It is also recommended that compulsive shoplifters seek treatment from a therapist to deal with the internal issues contributing to the addiction. Our attorneys do not advise ignoring theft charges these charges can have a huge affect on a persons life.

For more information contact our criminal defense team:

William Moore Criminal Defense Attorneys

110 SE 6th St #1713

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Broward County, Florid

(954) 523-5333



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