If you are facing charges for shoplifting, you are certainly not alone. According to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP), roughly 27 million shoplifters live here in the United States, which works out to about one in every 11 individuals. Within just the last five years, over 10 million people were arrested for allegedly shoplifting.

Far from being a victimless crime, shoplifting drives up the cost of retail goods and increases prices to cover the cost of store security systems and personnel. Both the police and the courts complain of being overburdened apprehending and prosecuting shoplifters, and local communities and the state of New York are deprived of tax revenues when people shoplift.

What is a typical shoplifter’s profile?

According to the NASP website, there is no such thing as a “typical shoplfter.” Equally as many women as men shoplift, and the inclination to indulge in five-finger discounts crosses all racial, age and demographic groups.

People shoplift items and merchandise at all types of retail outlets. From dollar stores to bodegas and high-dollar merchants and supermarkets, shoplifters hit them all with regularity. Many shoplift goods while they are shopping for items they legitimately purchase. Some don’t plan on lifting any items and shoplift spontaneously.

Admitted shoplifters describe the “rush” they get when they walk out the doors with their concealed items as akin to the high they get from doing drugs. As such, shoplifting behaviors can become addictive and be very hard to cease.

If you get arrested on shoplifting charges here in New York City, you need to be proactive about your defense. Without aditting to any illegal behavior, ask to speak to your criminal defense attorney before answering any questions by the police.