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Holiday shop lifting on the rise

ALBANY -- The season for giving is also the season for taking, that's according to the National Retail Federation. They say shop lifting is costing retailers over 3 billion dollars this holiday season, and it's you the shopper that's footing the bill.

"When the economy is bad and around the holidays there's people that feel they can get away with more the stores are crowded, so shoplifting tends to increase around the holidays," says Greg Rinkey of Tully Rinkey PLLC.

The numbers show the price is getting heftier. FBI data shows that the average value of property shoplifter in one offense in 2012 was just over 200 dollars. That's up from 174 bucks in 2010. About 90 percent of retailers surveyed reported experiencing the return of stolen merchandise over the past year.

"I think there's a lot of greeters you see when you go into stores now. People are greeting you in that sense to let people know you're being watched," says Rinkey

Also increased hidden security cameras, and increased police presence at the mall.

"Store owners have the right to protect their property. But most store owners chose to let the shop lifter go and then call the police and let the police handle it," says Rinkey.

When it comes to nabbing those with sticky fingers, the price can range anywhere from probation to jail time.

One study says each us household is paying an average of 300 dollars to make up for the losses.

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