‘Thinking thief’ in the crime prevention arms race: Lessons learned from shoplifters
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Retailers invest considerable sums of money in security measures designed to prevent shoplifting. However, little is known about shoplifters’ perceptions of anti-shoplifting security measures or shoplifters’ techniques for outmaneuvering them. Building on Ekblom’s recommendation to ‘think thief’ to disengage from the crime prevention arms race, our data consist of in-depth interviews with active shoplifters who simulated shoplifting at two national retail stores while wearing an eye-tracking device. Shoplifters in the present study describe their perceptions of the deterrence potential of specific security measures and the various counter-moves employed to successfully steal merchandise. Implications for ‘thinking thief’ in the retail environment are discussed.
Keywordsshoplifting eye-tracking device offenders’ perspectives retail security arms race thinking thief
The authors would like to thank Beau Shine and Jim McCafferty for their assistance with data collection.
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