Retail theft in the United States costs retail merchants approximately $42 billion per year. Although a signficant amount of such theft is attributable to store employees, the majority of the losses are due to customer theft.

As a result, consumers pay an additional 4 to 5% more for each item purchased from a retail merchant. Just as important, there are significant personal, social, and economic consequences for those individuals who have been apprehended and charged with retail theft.

Many retail merchants have changed their policies in order to use the most effective manner to deter or stop retail theft in their stores. Over the past 25 years the method of choice has been arrest and prosecution, regardless of the value of the item or items stolen from a particular retail merchant.

In addition to the criminal sanctions of  arrest, prosecution, and fines, shoplifters may also have civil liabilty to the retail merchant for an amount up to $1,000 plus the value of the item.

The Tier- 1 Program provides education, information, assessment, and referral services for first-time arrested retail theft offenders. Its  multi-disciplinary staff  has also provided consultive and research services for more than 27 years to retail merchants, law enforcement, and members of the judiciary who want to establish self-supporting alternative sentencing and intervention services for individuals charged with retail theft.


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