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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 134210 Find in a Library
Title: Booster and the Snitch: Department Store Shoplifting
Author(s): M O Cameron
Date Published: 1964
Page Count: 212
Sponsoring Agency: Macmillan
New York, NY 10010
Sale Source: Macmillan
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Although department store shoplifting totaled about $1 billion a year when this book was written, the author contends that pilferage has been largely ignored by criminologists.
Abstract: Previous studies of crime and delinquency have been based on the records of people apprehended by public law enforcement agencies rather than by private police. The book looks at arrests of shoplifters made by private police over a 10-year period and identifies two major groups of shoplifters: professionals or "boosters" and pilferers or "snitches." Boosters differ little from other professional thieves; they derive from the criminal subculture and move from one illegal vocation to another. Snitches are average middle-class citizens who have never been arrested. They emerge as experienced thieves who do not share the values of criminal or delinquent subcultural groups. They do not, for the most part, steal due to poverty, and they are not "little old lady" kleptomaniacs. Since they fail to conform to preconceived ideas of what criminals should be like, pilferers or snitches are a fascinating and puzzling group. The author presents anecdotal material on shoplifting, statistical data on shoplifting from the private records of a large department store in Chicago, information on private police operations, and an explanation of shoplifting and its relation to other forms of crime. Sources of data used for the study are described in an appendix. 5 tables, 6 charts, and 4 maps
Main Term(s): Shoplifting
Index Term(s): Business crime costs; Illinois; Retail business crimes
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