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Survey Points to Growing Problem of Shrink

Fruitland Park, FL, One in every 27.8 employees was apprehended for theft from their employer, according to the 17th Annual Retail Theft Survey, conducted by Jack Hayes International. As bad as that sounds, the truth is worse. “That number is just the ones who are caught,” said Mark Doyle, president of the loss-prevention consulting firm. “I know companies don’t catch half of their dishonest employees.”

According to the survey of 27 U.S. retail companies, the number of shoplifters apprehended and the dollars recovered from those apprehensions increased for the fourth straight year. Apprehension of dishonest employees and the dollars recovered from them increased in 2004, reversing a three-year trend. Dollar recoveries exceeded $112 million, up 3.26% over 2003. Only 2.74% of total retail theft losses resulted in a recovery, according to the consulting firm. “The losses are staggering and continue to amaze us, especially the shoplifting statistics over the past several years,” said Doyle.

The 27 companies in the survey represent 12,908 stores with combined 2004 sales of about $441 billion.

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