Shoplifting in Supermarkets: People Steal Meat and Analgesics

The Freakonomics Blog had an interesting piece the other day about shoplifting in supermarkets. Theft of “Health and Beauty” items (usually the most stolen category) is down this year. The category has been surpassed by “meat and analgesics.” When we’re broke we want to eat a steak and get numb, right? That’s the American dream, right there.

Anyway, supposedly the decline in theft of health and beauty items reflects increased security on products containing pseudoephedrine. Also of note was a statistic about “self check out” lanes. Of the stores that installed said check out lanes, “63.6 percent reported no increase in theft rates.” Which, as Dubner points out, means that 36.4 percent did. —MEGHANN MARCO

Stealing in Supermarkets [Freakonomics Blog]