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NCJ Number: 164052 Find in a Library
Title: Shoplifting: A Retrospective Survey
Journal: Gazette  Volume:58  Issue:11  Dated:(November 1996)  Pages:20-22
Author(s): Y Lamontagne; Lacerte-Lamontagne C; C Hetu; N Carpentier; R Elie
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 3
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English; French
Country: Canada
Annotation: An analysis of all 1,649 shoplifting cases in which a conviction or guilty plea occurred in a municipal court in Montreal, Quebec, Canada between 1986 and 1991 focused on the offenders' demographics, prior criminal histories, characteristics of the current offense, and sentences.
Abstract: Results revealed that the cases involved 812 men and 832 women. Their ages ranged from 18 to 80 years; the average was 35 years. Fifty percent were either married or living together. Fifty-seven percent were unemployed, 36.9 percent were working, and 5.8 percent were in school. Forty- six percent had an accomplice. Few claimed to have a physical or mental illness or an addiction problem. Twenty- eight percent had a previous record for shoplifting, including 33.4 percent of the men and 22.8 percent of the women. More than half (57.7 percent) of the participants appeared in court with an attorney; 47.6 percent were tried. The sentences included fines in 80.5 percent of the cases, parole in 8.2 percent, prison in 6.3 percent, suspended sentences in 4.4 percent, and community service in 0.6 percent. Findings refuted the myth that women commit the vast majority of shopliftings. Results also confirm Gibbens' opinion that a low percentage of shoplifters are mentally ill. However, alcohol and drug abuse appeared to be correlated with larger theft amounts, although the offense rate was low. Poverty, unemployment, and the economic recession might explain the findings. 5 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Crime in foreign countries; Offender profiles; Quebec; Shoplifting
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