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UK shoplifters feel inflation squeeze

world Updated: Oct 19, 2011 01:03 IST

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In Britain, it seems even shoplifters are feeling the inflationary squeeze, as figures have revealed that over the past year, thieves have increasingly opted to steal items of day-to-day use such as toothpaste.

Even meat and seafood was pinched alongside iPods, smart phones, laptops and computer games, the Daily Express reported. On an average, each thief stole goods worth an estimated £79 - often items they could sell on. Their crimes cost high street retailers, struggling to beat the recession, five billion pounds last year.

According to security troubleshooter Centre for Retail Research, the overall figure, including shoplifting, fraud, organised crime and administrative errors, is up 6.2% over the past 12 months.

"High losses are experienced by a relatively small number of products, particularly if recently launched and in great demand. Loss among food lines has shot up," said CRR's Neil Matthews.