Property crimes are on the decline in America. There are several potential reasons for this. For starters, unemployment rates are low. Another contributing factor is the prevalence of security systems both at businesses and at homes. This makes it difficult for people to take or vandalize items without detection. It may also make it easy to identify them. Even so, property crimes are still a big problem in Michigan and other states.

USA Today reports that the most common property crime of all is larceny. It makes up 71.7% of all property crimes in America. Shoplifting is one of the most well-known offenses that fall into this category. Burglary and motor vehicle theft are the second and third most common crimes, respectively.

Some areas tend to have higher rates of property crimes than others. Here are some of the characteristics that tend to align with higher rates of shoplifting and other property crimes:

  • Attracts a lot of tourists
  • Higher than normal poverty rates
  • A large population of college students
  • Inordinate levels of income inequality

In 2015, MarketWatch reported that the goods shoplifted by Americans totaled $13 billion each year. In fact, shoplifting accounted for 36% of lost revenue experienced by retailers.  Some of the most commonly taken items might be surprising. These included razor blades, lingerie, DVDs and even power tools.

What many people may not realize is that retailers pass that lost revenue on to everyone else to the tune of about $615 per household on average. So, even when one person does not pay for an item, somebody else does and businesses are reluctant to foot that bill themselves.