'Tis the Season for Holiday Shoplifting

1 decade 2 years 10 months ago Friday, November 24 2006 Nov 24, 2006 Friday, November 24, 2006 9:33:08 PM CST November 24, 2006 in News

In addition to guards like Burns, stores also use alarms and security cameras to crack down on shoplifters who not only steal items, but also try to get refunds for them.

The National Retail Federation estimates fraudulent returns will cost stores $3.5 billion this holiday season.

"Our company has a very great way of tracking what the receipt has done and where it has been, so very seldom do we run into any problems with fraudulent returns," said Damon Marquis, Best Buy manager.

Despite Marquis' assurances, the federation said 95 percent of retailers have customers who return stolen merchandise, 69 percent have purchases paid for with counterfeit money and 52 percent have returns with phony receipts.

"One of the biggest things that we do this day is make sure all of our customers' receipts are hand checked and signed off by one of the individuals in the store," said Marquis.

Shoplifting is a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the stolen item's value and if the shoplifter has a previous theft conviction. Class A misdemeanor stealing has a minimum penalty of one day to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

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