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Survey: Employee theft on the rise


In a sobering statistic, one out of every 27 employees was apprehended for theft from their employer in 2016.

That's according to “The 29th Annual Retail Theft Survey,” conducted by Jack L. Hayes International, a loss prevention and inventory shrinkage control consulting firm. The survey is based on reports on over 380,000 shoplifting apprehensions that took place in 23 large retail companies, representing 16,038 stores with combined 2016 annual sales in excess of $370 billion.

"Over the years, Hayes International has witnessed a steady and significant rise in this serious problem," the report stated. "Each year thousands of employees are caught stealing from their employers and co-workers. Furthermore, our studies reflect that this group of thieves are being caught stealing far more than a few insignificant supplies."

Over 438,000 shoplifters and dishonest employees were apprehended in 2016 by the 23 surveyed retailers, who recovered more than $42 million from these thieves. (All stats in the survey relate specifically to the 23 retailers.)

In 2016, dishonest employee apprehensions increased almost 10%, with the dollars recovered from these dishonest employees up nearly the same amount (9.3%). Shoplifting apprehensions and the dollars recovered from these shoplifters decreased slightly, 0.2% and 0.9% respectively.

In other survey findings, 56.5% of survey participants reported an increase in shrink in 2016, with 21.7% reporting a decrease. Another 21.7% reported shrink stayed about the same.

Full survey results are available here.

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