Study: Washington state the most impacted by retail crime in US

Nov 17, 2023, 8:12 AM | Updated: 9:23 am

Washington state retail crime...

A Target customer carries a bag as he walks by a sign posted in front of a Target store that is slated for closure. Citing “theft and organized retail crime," retail giant Target announced closures of nine stores across the country. Numerous retail chains have experienced a surge in mass theft in recent years, resulting in injury to staff and having to lock-up many products in their stores. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A new study from Forbes ranks Washington state as the most impacted by retail crime in the nation.

Investigative reporters looked at retail theft statistics nationwide to find out just how it’s impacting smaller businesses.

Read more here: Retail Crime Unit makes first prosecution in $50k retail theft case

Based on its share of the U.S. population, Washington state accounts for 48% more retail theft than expected.

The survey also ranked Washington third worst in the total value of items stolen, with an average loss of $347 per person.

Finally, Forbes places Washington state in the top 20 worst states for the cost to small business from retail crime.

They describe those small businesses as those employing up to 50 employees.

Twenty-one percent of those surveyed said they experience theft a few times a week.

Eighteen percent said it happened every week, and 13% said they had someone steal from them every single day.

More on retail theft crime: Target to close 2 Seattle stores, citing crime and safety

Forbes looked at shoplifting, internal theft and theft reporting.

It was surprising to note they found slightly more small business owners would be more inclined to report theft to their insurance companies than to the police.

The reason many gave for not reporting theft to authorities was they found it too time-consuming to do so or they may not know who was to blame.

A majority of retail small business owners are anticipating even more theft during this year’s holiday season.

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Study: Washington state the most impacted by retail crime in US