Black Friday Theft Often Tied-in With Addiction

shopliftingThe U.S. Bureau of Justice reports in its online Drug and Crime Facts compilation of statistics that 17 percent of state prisoners and 18 percent of inmates in federal prisons reported committing their current offense for the purpose of obtaining money for drugs. (2004)

Drugs and Crime: An Overview

The Drug and Crime Facts further details that about one-fourth of those in jail who had been convicted of property and drug offenses committed the crimes in order to get money for drugs. (2002)
At the state prison level, 30 percent of inmates who had committed offenses against property, and 26 percent who had committed drug offenses were found to be more likely to commit their crimes in order to get drug money than were violent offenders. (2004)
The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), reports 5.2 million violent victimizations in 2007. When asked if the victim perceived the perpetrator of the crime to have been using drugs or drinking, 26 percent of these victims of violence reported the offender was using alcohol or drugs.
Furthermore, the U.S. Bureau of Justice reports that 68 percent (two-thirds) of local jail inmates—both men and women– were found by survey to be dependent on alcohol or drugs, or were abusing them. (2002)
Among jail inmates incarcerated for DWI (Driving While Intoxicated–an offense committed by an individual operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs, narcotics or alcohol), more than three-quarters of the offenders reported past drug-use. Seventy-three percent reported marijuana use, and 41 percent reported using cocaine-based drugs.
The nation’s drug laws are enforced at the federal state and local level, with the Bureau of Justice reporting most arrests being made by local and state authorities. The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) Uniform Crime Reports details there were an estimated 1,841,200 local and state arrests in 2007 for drug-abuse violations in the U. S.
Additionally, more drug arrests involved cocaine or heroin than other types of drugs in the years from 1987 to 1995. But since 1996, the numbers of arrests involving marijuana have exceeded arrests for other types of drugs.
According to the Bureau of Justice, of those individuals convicted of drug possession, 35 percent were sentenced to prison, 29 percent were sentenced to jail, and 31percent were sentenced to probation. (2004)
At the time the statistics were reported, the average prison sentence for an individual convicted of a drug-possession offense was 3 years. The estimated time to be served by the offender was 16 months.
These statistics detail an inexorable link between drugs—and crime. And as drug-use continues to plague our nation and the world—so will drug-related crime.

Black Friday Theft

The Friday following Thanksgiving Day, celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November every year, has been dubbed Black Friday. It is recognized as the busiest shopping day of the year, and retailers customarily open for business very early, and offer a myriad of promotional sales to officially kick-start the holiday shopping season.
In some instances, Black Friday has also become known as a time of “shopper irrationality”, with crowds of over-anxious shoppers pressing to get their hands on what are perceived to be special items which are too scarce–not enough to go around for all those waiting in line to get the best deals.
With shoplifting already a bit of an easy mark for those engaged in theft to support a drug habit which they cannot afford, Black Friday affords the thief an opportunity to go unnoticed and un-apprehended. Blending-in as just another member of a tightly-packed and surging crowd of shoppers pawing through goods and leaving confusion in their wake, can be very good camouflage for a shoplifter driven to stealing the goods which they can fence to support their drug habit.
If you or someone you love is being driven to drug-related theft in order to support an addiction, there is help. Please call us for more information.

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