skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 51105 Find in a Library
Title: SHOPLIFTING AND POLICE REFERRAL - A REEXAMINATION
Journal: JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL LAW AND CRIMINOLOGY  Volume:69  Issue:3  Dated:(FALL 1978)  Pages:395-401
Author(s): R J LUNDMAN
Corporate Author: Northwestern University
School of Law
Managing Editor
United States of America

Williams and Wilkins Co
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: Northwestern University
Chicago, IL 60611
Williams and Wilkins Co
Baltimore, MD 21202
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: FACTORS INFLUENCING THE LAY REFERRAL OF SHOPLIFTING OFFENSES TO THE POLICE ARE STUDIED. THE SECURITY RECORDS FOR A BRANCH OF A DEPARTMENT STORE CHAIN WERE EXAMINED TO COLLECT DATA ON OFFENDERS, OFFENSES, AND DISPOSITIONS.
Abstract: THE SECURITY RECORDS FOR A BRANCH OF A NATIONWIDE DEPARTMENT STORE CHAIN WERE UTILIZED FOR THE YEARS 1973-1975 TO COLLECT DATA ON EACH SHOPLIFTING OFFENSE, DESCRIPTIONS OF OFFENDERS, AND INFORMATION ON REFERRAL OR NONREFERRALS TO THE POLICE. A TOTAL OF 664 CASES WERE ANALYZED TO DETERMINE IF EXTRALEGAL FACTORS INFLUENCED THE REPORTING OF SHOPLIFTING OFFENSES. RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN THE RETAIL VALUE OF THE ITEM STOLEN, THE RACE OF THE OFFENDER, THE SEX OF THE OFFENDER, AND THE OFFENDER'S AGE WERE CONSIDERED. TABLES PROVIDE DATA ON THE ANALYSIS RESULTS. THE MAJOR FINDING OF THE STUDY IS THAT RETAIL VALUE, AGE, AND RACE ALL RELATE TO THE REFERRAL DECISION, AND THAT GENDER DOES NOT. THESE FINDINGS ARE COMPARED TO RESULTS OF PREVIOUS STUDIES BY CAMERON, HINDELANG, AND STEFFENSMEIRER AND TERRY, AND REASONS FOR DISSIMILARITIES ARE DISCUSSED. THE PREVIOUS REPORTS FOUND THAT EXTRALEGAL CHARACTERISTICS SUCH AS RACE, GENDER, AND 'HIPPIE' APPEARANCE PLAYED AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN LAY DECISIONS TO REFER APPREHENDED SHOPLIFTERS TO POLICE; THE EXCEPTION IS HINDELANG'S STUDY WHICH FOUND THAT THESE FACTORS WERE ONLY SLIGHTLY RELATED WHEN THE RETAIL VALUE OF THE ITEM WAS CONTROLLED. THE SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES HAVE SEVERAL IMPLICATIONS FOR THE GENERAL STUDY OF LAY DECISIONMAKING. IT APPEARS THAT LAY PERSONS ARE GENERALLY RELUCTANT TO UTILIZE FORMAL MECHANISMS OF SOCIAL CONTROL -- ONLY 36 PERCENT OF THOSE ELIGIBLE FOR FORMAL PROCESSING WERE ACTUALLY REFERRED TO POLICE. THE MOST INFLUENTIAL FACTOR APPEARS TO BE THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE ALLEGED OFFENSES -ONLY 8 PERCENT OF PERSONS IN THIS STUDY TOOK ITEMS OF LESS THAN $6.00, WHILE 71 PERCENT TOOK ITEMS WORTH MORE THAN $30.00. SINCE EXTRALEGAL FACTORS SEEM TO INFLUENCE DECISIONMAKING IN REGARD TO REFERRALS, IT IS SUGGESTED THAT FUTURE SURVEYS STUDY THE ROLE OF OFFENDER CHARACTERISTICS IN THE DECISION TO REPORT CRIMINAL VICTIMIZATION. (DAG)
Index Term(s): Analysis; Citizen crime reporting; Citizen crime tolerance; Shoplifting; Unreported crimes
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51105

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.