The woman in the center is resisting, moving her cart violently in fear of being caught by the police. No~!”
A woman in her 70s resists the security guards who are trying to catch her by violently moving her shopping cart. In her haste to get into her car, which was parked in the parking lot, the cart overturned. The cart, which was packed tightly with unpaid merchandise, was thrown to the ground. A person who witnessed the commotion called 110. The woman explained the reason for her violence.
When I was caught before, the policeman told me, ‘If you do it again, I will arrest you,’ so I got scared. I didn’t want to get caught.”
This is a scene at a supermarket in the Kanto region where shoplifting was discovered.
Statistics show that the number of shoplifting is decreasing. According to the National Police Agency, the number of arrests has been halved from 101,340 in 1999 to 50,369 in 2009. Yu Ito, a shoplifting G-man who has been cracking down on thefts at stores nationwide for 23 years, says that the number of shoplifting arrests has been increasing dramatically.
The number of arrests is decreasing because the number of security guards and police officers patrolling has decreased due to the spread of the new coronavirus. I feel that shoplifting that does not come to the surface has become more common. Another factor may be that with the spread of self-checkout machines, there are fewer clerks on the sales floor. In fact, the amount of damage has increased in some stores compared to before Corona.
Female thieves are prominent in pharmacies and supermarkets. In the past, many of them stole food and other items due to poverty, but the motives for shoplifting are becoming more diverse. Mr. Ito continues.
Ito continues, “Recently, an increasing number of shoplifters steal cosmetics and daily necessities for the purpose of resale. They steal cosmetics and daily necessities and then sell them on the flea market app “Mercari” and the like. There were sisters who shoplifted as many as 50 chocolate bars with extras in exchange for cash. Foreigners are also committing more crimes. Vietnamese thieves resell stolen food and other items in their apartments.
It is not only customers who commit theft.
There have been cases of employees stealing goods from supermarkets. They probably felt less guilty because they were stealing from the store where they worked. Before leaving the store, they shoplifted ingredients for dinner. As he became accustomed to committing the crimes, the amount he stole increased rapidly. The manager became suspicious and asked me to catch her, which led to the discovery of her crime.
According to Mr. Ito, the methods of the thieves have also become more sophisticated. In some cases, the stolen goods are placed in specially processed bags to prevent them from being caught by the detectors at the store’s entrances and exits. Some of the thieves are young women in their teens and 20s.
A woman in her early twenties caught at a supermarket in Tokyo was motivated by a broken heart. Most teenage girls have problems in their home environment. Most teenage girls have problems in their home environment. Many are unable to attend school because of money problems due to parental neglect. Some girls have a strong complex about being poor and continue to shoplift because they want to feel superior by wearing better things,” Ito said.
Shoplifting cannot be blamed on the individual. It is a problem that must be solved by society as a whole.
For reasons of privacy protection, the photos have been processed.
From the November 25, 2022 issue of FRIDAY