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Rational vs. Nonrational Shoplifting Types: The Implications for Loss Prevention Strategies

NCJ Number
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology Volume: 33 Issue: 3 Dated: (December 1989) Pages: 227-239
G R Schlueter; F C O'Neal; J Hickey; G L Seiler
Date Published
13 pages
This article characterizes the shoplifting behavior of 132 adult middle class shoplifters as "rational," "nonrational," or "mixed," depending on the extent to which the subject's theft was calculated to achieve a goal.
The findings suggest that though there are certain demographic differences between the types, there appears to be little difference between groups in terms of the types of stores targeted, the type of items stolen, the value of the items stolen, or the frequency of shoplifting incidents. It is suggested, therefore, that contrary to earlier research, nonrational types pose a significant threat to store security since they do not consider the possibilities of apprehension and once apprehended the experience does not change their attitudes toward shoplifting. It is speculated that preventive approaches to loss prevention utilizing highly visible uniformed officers might help to deter nonrational offenders. 8 tables, 6 references. (Author abstract)


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