Light Fingers

Thieves within and without

As the Christmas shopping season reaches a climax this week, retailers will be totting up more than sales. Gone from their shelves will also be millions of dollars' worth of goods that no one paid for. The total amount of shoplifting this year could go as high as $8 billion. Says Gary Rejebian, spokesman for the Illinois Retail Merchants Association: "Shoplifting causes the greatest losses for a retailer."

Stores are paying more attention than ever to light-fingered crime. Spending for antitheft devices has gone up about 18% in the past year. The most popular anti-crime item is a plastic...

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