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Experts: Billions in merchandise stolen a year

ALBANY -- Each year over $10 billion a year is stolen in merchandise in "a very well run, organized, efficient business".

According to Ted Potrikus of the Retail Council of New York shop lifting rings are among the most prevalent crimes. "Tens of billions of dollars a year" in merchandise is lost, said Potrikus.

"They go out with a shopping list and are being told this is what we need to have, this is what we are being asked to provide," said Potrikus.

In the Capital Region, just in the past few weeks, there have been several arrests for shoplifting. The most came after three women were charged by police for stealing just under $5,000 worth of electronics from Walmart.

In Lee Massachusetts police say they are looking for several people who broke into a Michael Kors outlet store and stole up to $500,000 in merchandise.

Many times the stolen goods are taken to other, bigger cities, and resold, said Potrikus.

In the case of the East Greenbush arrest all three women were from the Bronx.

When there is theft retailers are not the only ones to lose out, local governments lose out on sales tax revenue.

According to the National Learning and Resource Center over $13 billion worth of merchandise is stolen each year, equating to about $35 million a day.