U.S. News

Shoplifting Study Finds The Rich Steal More

When it comes to shoplifting the rich are different — they steal more.

Rachel Shteir, author of the new book "The Steal," told CNBC Monday Americans with incomes of $70,000 a year shoplift 30 percent more than those earning up to $20,000, according to a recent comprehensive report on the crime studying 40,000 Americans.

Why are the rich stealing? Usually not because of financial need, she said. Often they feel a sense of entitlement. Or perhaps there is shame involved because, she said, some of the items most commonly lifted are condoms, Rogaine, Claritin and home pregnancy tests.

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"I think if they are stealing because they feel pinched they are gravatating towards those luxury items they used to be able to afford but can no longer be able to afford, or they feel they've been wronged and feel they have to get back," Shtier said.

Shoplifting costs American businesses about $12 billion a year and costs families $450 each year because of shoplifting-related price inflation, she said. According to the National Association of Shoplifting Prevention, only one in 49 incidents leads to an arrest.