A study of 23 large retail companies found that 71,095 dishonest employees were apprehended for employee theft in 2012, up 5.5 percent from 2011, while more than $50 million was recovered in those cases, up 7 percent from 2011, according to the 25th Annual Retail Theft Survey conducted by Jack L. Hayes International. The survey, which also found that poor employment screening contributed to the rise in employee theft, is available at http://hayesinternational.com/news/annual-retail-theft-survey/.

Highlights regarding employee theft from the annual retail theft survey conducted by the foremost loss prevention and inventory shrinkage control and safety consulting firm include:

  • 71,095 dishonest employees were apprehended in 2012, up 5.5 percent from 2011.
  • Over $50 million was recovered from employee apprehensions in 2012, up 7.0 percent from 2011.
  • One out of every 40 employees was apprehended for theft from their employer in 2012, based on comparison data of over 2.8 million employees.
  • On a per case average, dishonest employees steal approximately 5.5 times the amount stolen by shoplifters, $715.24 versus $129.12.
  • 14 of 23 large retailers – 60.9 percent – had an increase in employee theft apprehensions.
  • 15 of 23 large retailers – 65.2 percent – had an increase in employee theft recovery dollars.

Why does employee theft continue to be a problem in the retail industry? The survey found ineffective pre-employment screening contributed to the employee theft problem: The first step to controlling internal theft starts at the point-of-hire; do not hire the “bad apple.” Some retailers, in an effort to reduce their costs, have lowered their pre-screening requirements and are now hiring more “questionable” employees. Anytime statistics show one out of every 40 employees is actually caught stealing by their employer, there has to be some type of breakdown in the pre-employment screening process.

In all, the survey found that 1,145,688 shoplifters and dishonest employees were apprehended in 2012, up 7.3 percent from 2011. Over $189 million was recovered from apprehended shoplifters and dishonest employees in 2012, up 18.1 percent from 2011. A downloadable and printable PDF version of the survey is available at http://hayesinternational.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/SURVEY-2013-25th-Annual-Retail-Theft-Survey-Hayes-International-Thoughts-Behind-Numbers-Final.pdf.

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