How Much Theft Goes On?

How much theft do you think goes on in the world? A cashier at my local department store told me how much loss from theft his store suffers every year, and I was more than a little shocked.

I wrote a short blog post about it which you can read here:

I’m heartbroken that this much sin is going on against just one of the Commandments. Just how do people justify to themselves the taking of property that isn’t theirs? :frowning:

The real question is how much looting is going on at the corporate level–systematically, daily, and deliberately. And Catholics are very much involved at every level. I worry a lot more about that than some poor person stealing a blouse.

I worry about sin at all levels.

They decide they aren’t really “hurting” anyone - and that they “need” it. Or they are teens looking for a “challenge”. In other words, they’ve probably never been fully loved and educated in the morals of proper society. Add in drugs and addiction and it seems like a never ending problem.

Working in retail I see it every day. It’s sad. And then, bless them, are the innocents who are perplexed that we have security stickers, ties and locks on things.

Don’t even get me started on plagiarism. :mad:

There are also the millions of dollars/pounds which fraudsters steal each year from their victims, many of them seniors, who are really not well off.

When you consider how may children are aborted in the modern world every year, why would something like shoplifting surprise you?

Probably MUCH more than anyone presumes would be my guess.

I would assume they justify their actions as well.

It doesn’t surprise me. The overwhelming amount of it surprises me.

It shouldnt surprise you, after all, majority of people ‘worship’ money, most devote their entire lives to acquiring as much as possible, its the sole reason why everyone goes to work every day and some work over 60-80 hours a week…all in pursuit of money.

Those that are not bothered by morals are the same way, they want as much as possible, but theft is just another way they can use to get to the same result.

Well, it did surprise me–not that theft was going on but the sheer numbers of how much theft there is in my local department store.

What dollar amount would it take to surprise you?

It’s how thievery is portrayed within society, it’s white-washed, its like a wooly-sin. They think it is alright to steal because they don’t view anyone as getting hurt, however, that is far from the truth.

Stealing hurts people emotionally. It delineates mistrust. To cause mistrust is not righteous in the eyes of God. For God said that only the righteous may enter the kingdom. If you can’t be trusted to be faithful in even the least of any of the commandments then you can’t be trusted in Great things of faith.

This post reminds me of one I participated in quite some time ago. Can’t remember if I was the op or not but I do remember asking a couple questions regarding incidents and asked if others’ thought these were stealing. So I’ll bring them up again.
Someone is in the grocery store walking about the produce section and every once in a while they swing by the grape section and pop a couple grapes into their mouth-then off again to pick up other produce then back again to procure more grapes. Is this stealing?
Next scenario is that someone picks up a magazine from the magazine section and scans it as she moves about the store filling her cart with what she wishes to buy that day. And by scan I mean maybe read a paragraph or two or simply looking at the photos. I was with this person this is why I can say that much about the incident. Was this person stealing? So how much theft does go on?

I am a corporate rep for a national gas station/ convenience store chain, I have 42 stores in my district which I manage. Over the 7 yrs I have had this job, the overall theft by shoplifting has not effected profit that much, its insignificant actually, even fuel theft when people drive off without paying.

While we have much less expensive items than a department store, Id imagine the mark up is about the same, so if someone comes in a steals a candy bar that retails for $1.50, our ‘loss’ is only about .25 or less, and in some cases, depending on the contracts we have with different vendors, it may not result in any loss to us, example, if someone comes in and steals a case of Budweiser, we do not loose anything on it, the vendor takes the hit, it varies from product to product and vendor to vendor, some, we even get credits for product loss, expiration, damage, etc.

Theft of cash by employees and manager is where we take the hit though,I have seen many managers get fired over the years for cash theft, one girl stole close to $35K over an 8 month period, but for some reason beyond me, they could only choose to prosecute her for $2000. so they just fired her, no prosecution, even I was wondering about that one, but I assume it would have cost the company more to prosecute than it was worth.


Add to that horrific crime all the other murders in the world (abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, war, hate crimes, terrorism, etc.) and death through starvation, famine, plagues, disease, etc., theft is really one of the least of this worlds concerns. :shrug:

The fact that theft doesn’t impact society as much as other sins doesn’t make it inoffensive to God.

I highly doubt any soul damned for theft consoles itself with the thought that at least it didn’t commit murder.

Goodness, I’ve read lengthy threads about lying, and nobody goes into those with a list of other sins and then says “lying is really one of the least of this world’s concerns.” There’s an entire Commandment banning theft! My heart aches at how much God is offended by this–and yes, by other sins as well–but I don’t try to brush it aside because other sins are more heinous.

The sin of theft can be like dropping a pebble into a still pond in that the result affects many lives, possibly for a lifetime. It can result in suicide, utter despair and desolation among many other things.

I do agree that probably many things we think of as being ‘not that bad’ in our view, will probably be a VERY big deal to God, and its likely we will be very surprised at some of things he considers grave, but we dont think twice about.

Part of this is due to the world we live in, over time, certain things/ sins, have almost come to be recognized as normal or something people just do, as our society gets further and further away from God and his laws, it gets tougher and tougher to recognize these things, if we keep going on the same road, I cannot even imagine what will seen as ‘normal’ or moderately acceptable in the secular world in another 100 yrs…500 yrs, 1000yrs…etc.It will probably make things in our time look tame.

Sadly, theft is everywhere. EVERYWHERE.

In places like Bangladesh, families are having their ancestral homes stolen by Muslim militants. If they flee, they abandon their homes. If they stay, the risk death.

Closer to home, yes, theft is everywhere, even if on a smaller scale. My daughter takes music lessons every Saturday. When I came in last week, the music store owner was making dunning calls because parents who rented violins for $11/month were 4 months late and wouldn’t return the instruments (the same parents who probably drive huge SUVs).

The wounds from theft often go very deep. I remember Paul Harvey saying that you learn honesty by being cheated. Sadly, I think he was right.

I wasn’t saying theft wasn’t serious sin or a crime against both God and humanity. But you have to work on leveling these mountains of sin today from the top. And that is our pro-choice, pro-death culture. Cause when that culture reigns in our world, everything else is seen as fair game. :shrug:

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