In the United States and elsewhere, theft commonly refers to the illegal taking and possessing of another’s property, anything of value, with the intent to permanently deprive that person of the item or the value of the item taken. Shoplifting is a certain kind of theft (i.e., larceny-theft) that occurs at retail stores and commercial businesses. Theft and shoplifting are two types of property crime. Other property crimes are burglary, motor vehicle theft, and arson. While there are many kinds of theft, those discussed here are larceny-theft, burglary, and motor vehicle theft. None of these crimes features the use of force against people. Common examples of larceny-theft include stealing a bike or someone’s wallet (pickpocketing), or taking things from a retail store, e.g., CDs or clothes.
Theft and shoplifting are important to address because they account for the largest portion of all criminal offending in the United States. Laws against them date back to ancient Roman law (e.g., Hammurabi Codes) and English common law. In those times, the crime of theft was rampant, and proscriptions about what to do with thieves dominated extant law. These codes and laws have played an important role in shaping modern criminal law in the United States. Today, the forces that motivate theft are powerful and ever present, and the consequences of theft are felt by individuals, businesses, communities, and government agencies.
A growing body of research suggests that the effect of unemployment on theft is not straightforward, but rather, is contingent on various demographic or contextual factors. One consistent predictor is length of unemployment. Research suggests that individuals are more likely to commit crime the longer they are unemployed (Witt, Clarke, & Fielding, 1996). This indicates that individuals are generally able to endure short-lived instances of economic hardship, but will resort to theft if no legitimate opportunities surface in a reasonable period of time. Other demographic predictors are less reliable. The relationship appears to vary by age, but research is mixed as to the precise nature of the relationship. For example, some research has identified a link between adult male unemployment and theft (Carmichael &Ward, 2001), while other studies have found that unemployment is only related to rates of theft among juveniles (Britt, 1997). The kind of theft that occurs as a result of unemployment also appears to be impacted by considerations related to national or regional culture. For example, one recent study (Herzog, 2005) examined the relationship between unemployment and crime by focusing on the unique framework provided by the large, integrated labor force of Palestinian workers employed in Israel over the past few decades. Overall, a relationship between unemployment among Palestinians and theft in Israel was not found, except in one case: motor vehicle theft. As such, it appears that the relationship between economic hardship and crime may not be a general one, but rather, is specific to certain forms of activity (Herzog, 2005).
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) is the official and leading data source on crimes reported to the police and arrests made by them in the United States. As such, the definitions articulated in the UCR formally define what is known about crime in society today. According to the UCR, larceny-theft is the “unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession or constructive possession of another” (FBI, 2008). Common examples of larceny-theft include stealing bicycles, shoplifting goods from retail stores or businesses, pickpocketing, or swiping someone’s laptop at an Internet cafe or other location. Larceny-theft covers any stealing of property that is not taken by force, violence, or fraud. Included in the FBI’s definition are attempted larcenies.
The main point to emphasize is that the relationship between unemployment and theft is far more nuanced than previously believed. The complexity of this relationship is further illustrated by Cantor and Land’s (1985) seminal work on the differential effects of motivation and opportunity. They argue that although rises in the unemployment rate may increase criminal motivation to commit theft, they may also decrease the opportunity to successfully complete theft. Simply put, if people aren’t working, they’re likely at home, which increases guardianship (Cantor & Land, 1985; Land et al., 1995). Despite this reasoning, recent research has found that overall, opportunity levels are unrelated to theft rates and do not appear to mediate the unemployment– crime relationship for most forms of theft (Kleck & Chiricos, 2002). Presently, then, it appears that the motivation to commit theft due to unemployment is stronger than the decreased opportunities that are theorized to decrease theft during periods of unemployment.
Predicting when and where theft crimes are most likely to occur is crucial for prioritizing police resources (Kane, 2006), and research indicates that theft is highly likely to be deterred by aggressive policing practices that target “hot spots” and certain neighborhoods. The potential deterrent effect, however, is further shaped by environmental factors. With respect to residential burglary, for example, research has found that (1) repeat victimization in general tends to occur in poorer areas; (2) houses located next to a previously victimized house are at a substantially higher risk relative to those located farther away, particularly within one week of an initial burglary; and (3) properties located on the same side of the street as a previously victimized house are at significantly greater risk compared with those opposite (Bowers at al., 2004).
The research paper begins with a discussion of the major types of theft and shoplifting, followed by the prevalence of each in U.S. society today. Here, some demographic and regional variations in theft rates are examined, as well as the offenders who are involved. From there, the discussion moves to the major schools of thought regarding why theft and shoplifting take place and what society can do to address the problem. The research paper concludes with some observations for future research, theory, and practice.
There is a large amount of literature devoted to conceptualizing the relationship between criminal opportunity and theft. The dominant theoretical framework shaping this line of inquiry is routine activities theory (Cohen & Felson, 1979), which assumes that crime represents a convergence in time and space of motivated offenders, suitable targets, and a lack of effective guardianship (surveillance and protection) of persons and property. These key variables were later refined to incorporate dimensions of exposure (physical visibility), proximity (physical distance), and target attractiveness, and the guardianship variable was extended to account for security guards, bouncers, police presence, and so forth.
This sample Theft and Shoplifting Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Like other free research paper examples, it is not a . If you need help writing your assignment, please use our and buy a paper on any of the . This sample research paper on theft and shoplifting features: 6200+ words (24 pages), an outline, APA format in-text citations, and a bibliography with 61 sources.
Writing a research paper powerpoint dissertation essay den quiicklyfree examples essay and paper quiickly college essay writers college essay writers bunyantownmarinacom famous writers of essay.
While the free essays can give you inspiration for writing, they cannot be used 'as is' because they will not meet your assignment's requirements.
Dialogue Essays] 1248 words (3.6 pages) Strong Essays 150 word essay length for college | Music Inspires Art 1000 word essay on shoplifting.