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Beauty Items Top 'Most Shoplifted' List

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By Laura Strachan, Esq. on October 01, 2010 10:12 AM

Petty theft making for pretty criminals? According to a study conducted by the Food Marketing Institute, health and beauty items are once again at the top of the "most shoplifted" list. Hoping to look good for their mug shot, looking to score a date at the local jail, pocketing fall's latest color to have handcuff-worthy fingernails, the jokes seem to be endless when looking at the list of items making the most shoplifted list.

MSNBC reports on the trend, "slipping beauty products into a purse is more doable and worthwhile than, say, ripping off a 12-pack of toilet paper. Consumers gravitate toward certain items, and so do criminals. You have to look at it as a specifically self-destructive kind of behavior, a statement of rebellion--it's more about that kind of statement than it is about mascara." Nevertheless, stealing beauty products can make for an ugly shoplifting charge on an individual's criminal record.

In 2009, retailers lost $11.7 billion from shoplifting. Topping the most shoplifted list are: Oil of Olay Regenerist line, Gillette razors, and Bumble and Bumble hair products. To combat sticky fingers getting a little stickier down the makeup aisle, many stores are encasing more products in a display that requires an employee to open. The lock and key approach may work to decrease makeup theft of certain items, but overly cautious attempts to limit shoplifting before it happens may come at the expense of giving a customer a desirable shopping experience.

Punishment for shoplifting typically depends on the value of the goods stolen. Take Caroline Giuliani's recent arrest for stealing $100 worth of makeup from Sephora -- she was sentenced to one day of community service. Community service and fines are the most common punishment; however jail time (especially for repeat offenders) is also an option in many cases. Stores are also able to seek restitution for their lost goods through civil recovery or civil demand statutes.

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