Calgary

Shoplifting on rise as food prices go up

As food continues to get more expensive, some store owners in Calgary are noticing more shoplifting.

Thieves target expensive food items, market owner says

 As food continues to get more expensive, some store owners in Calgary are noticing more shoplifting.

Calgary police don't keep track of shoplifting numbers, and officials say much of it goes unreported.

Lina Castle says the meat and cheese sections in her northeast Italian supermarket get raided regularly by shoplifters.

"From prime rib to parmesan cheese...expensive salamis...they pick up the most expensive item. It's getting worse every week. In one week we caught five people," she said.

"And it's tough for small businesses."  

A study by the Retail Council of Canada found that store theft cost retailers about $3.6 billion per year.   

There is a link between shoplifting and the higher cost of food and other consumer goods, said Joe Wilson, the president of Sonitrol, a security company that works with retail chains across Canada.

The latest numbers from Statistics Canada show food prices have increased by more than four per cent over the last year.

"Our retail trade customers are reporting that there's about a six per cent increase in shoplifting from last year. People are stealing more simply to keep up," said Wilson.

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