Understanding Retail Crime Patterns: The Impact of Repeat Offenders on Multiple Establishments
June 22, 2024
Miranda Reyes

Retail crime is not just an isolated issue; it’s a community problem that significantly impacts businesses, employees, customers, and local economies, causing financial loss and unsafe environments for both retail workers and shoppers. According to Capital One Shopping, shoplifting losses increased by 19.4% in 2022, and the share of retail sales dollars lost to theft grew by 10.5%.

Repeat offenders often evade prosecution and legal accountability, posing challenges for businesses trying to protect their inventory and stay ahead of security trends. In response, some states have increased penalties to deter retail crime with higher consequences. However, solely relying on stricter penalties may not suffice due to the complexity of retail crime patterns, presenting a need for innovative strategies for long-term theft prevention.

Analyzing recidivist patterns and using data analytics offers opportunities to create effective deterrents and scalable solutions that protect people, assets, and communities while holding retail crime accountable.

Repeat offenders targeting multiple establishments: research findings

To better understand retail crime patterns, ALTO’s legal team conducted an in-depth analysis of incidents across various businesses from June 2022 to the present. The objective was to shed light on the frequency of repeat offenders targeting multiple retailers, with the ALTO legal team reviewing over 200 cases involving 66 repeat offenders

These individuals targeted a diverse range of business establishments, including several retail locations partnered with ALTO. The breakdown of these cases revealed the following:

  • In 42% of cases, offenders targeted two different establishments.
  • In 52% of cases, offenders targeted three to seven establishments.
  • In 6% of cases, offenders targeted more than seven establishments.

This data unveils a concerning trend of repeat offenders systematically targeting multiple retail locations, thereby amplifying their negative impact on businesses. Addressing this issue demands comprehensive cross-sector strategies, including on-site support, data analysis, legal advocacy, and robust case-building to combat retail crime. Effective legal accountability and deterrence, paired with key partnerships between public and private sectors, are vital for tackling the root causes of retail crime patterns to foster safer communities.

Outcome and impact: the last mile of retail asset protection

The research conducted by ALTO’s legal team found a significant prevalence of repeat offenders targeting multiple business establishments. These recurring retail crime patterns pose substantial challenges for retailers, exacerbating issues of theft, loss, and operational disruptions.

To address these challenges, ALTO emphasizes the importance of community collaboration, data-driven case building and accountability against repeat offenders. By leveraging a nationwide alliance of retailers, law enforcement, prosecutors, legal experts and community stakeholders, ALTO enhances data analysis for robust cases, improving accountability so that communities and stores are protected.

The effectiveness of ALTO’s data-driven strategies is evidenced by our legal team’s success rate, achieving favorable dispositions in at least 92% of cases involving retail partners—a testament to ALTO’s commitment to the long-term safety of both stores and communities.

Joining the ALTO Alliance enables your retail store to leverage our on-site teams and in-house legal experts to share crucial information and hold offenders accountable, deterring recidivism and improving long-term safety for businesses and communities.

Contact us today to learn more and get started with the ALTO Alliance.