Designer clothes are the most stolen item by organized retail crime gangs or smash-and-grab thefts.
Such organized retail crime has been costing retailers an average of over $700,000 from every $1 billion in sales for the last five years in a row, with the number rising yet again according to the latest figures.
Nearly half of retailers surveyed for recent research into the issue said they had seen a ‘slight’ increase in smash-and-grab thefts, with a little under a third saying they had seen a ‘significant’ increase.
A big part of the problem is that while larger retailers are often able to swallow up the losses and introduce additional security measures to minimize them, smaller businesses often don’t have such luxury.
Most Stolen Items During Smash-and-Grab Robberies
The annual Organized Crime Survey was conducted by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and discovered the most stolen items during smash-and-grab robberies. The NRF surveyed 61 retailers in order to better understand retail crime trends.
The most stolen items were:
Designer clothes – 34%
Any shops selling designer fashion clothes face a constant threat of organized retail crime.
Laundry detergent – 21%
As well as being reluctant to pay for their designer clothes, criminals also seem unwilling to pay to clean them.
Razors – 20%
Any stores selling toiletries should look out as razors are another popular item to be stolen.
Designer handbags – 16%
The sell-on value of stolen designer handbags on the black market will always place them high on lists such as these.
Deodorant – 15%
Toiletries are on the list again, with stores selling such goods possibly being targeted for multiple items at a time.
Laptops/tablets – 13%
Tech stores usually have plenty of security measures in place, but determined thieves still find a way to smash-and-grab these items.
Infant formula – 13%
A heart-breaking entry on this list, but unfortunately a pretty common one.
Allergy medicine – 13%
Again, this entry speaks more to poverty and hardship than to serious organized criminals.
Pain relievers – 13%
Pharmacists should know that pain relievers are one of the most popular items stolen during smash-and-grab robberies.
High-end liquor – 13%
Despite lots of security measures, liquor stores are still targeted for their higher end products.
Denim pants – 11%
Clothing store owners should know that denim pants are the second most popular clothing item to steal after designer gear.
Cigarettes – 10%
Cigarette sellers know they are a target for criminal gangs, but even so it is difficult to stop this item being one of the most popular to steal.
Teeth whitening strips – 10%
This item is small and not particularly well secured, and so it has experienced a lot of theft by opportunistic thieves.
Contraceptives – 10%
Retailers stocking contraceptives understand many people feel embarrassed buying such items, but that doesn’t excuse stealing.
Cell phones – 8%
Cell phone retailers take lots of security measures, but the high value of these items still makes them an attractive target to smash-and-grab thieves.
Energy drinks – 7%
Easy to hide in a jacket pocket and usually not very well secured, energy drinks are a common item to steal.
High-end vacuums – 5%
While it is near the bottom of the list and only 5%, retailers selling vacuums cleaners need to be aware that their goods are still a significant target for organized thieves.
High-end appliances – 5%
Just like vacuum cleaners, high-end appliances are valuable to steal to keep, but also have significant sell-on value that makes them attractive targets for criminals.
For small businesses, the research provides important insight into which items are deemed as most valuable to thieves and therefore should be guarded more closely.