Rising retail thefts in Connecticut mimic broader US trend


SOUTHINGTON, Conn. (AP) — Recent instances of retail thefts at Connecticut stores are reflecting a nationwide trend.

Several stores in Southington and Oxford were hit recently by thieves who walked out with hundreds or even thousands of dollars in goods and threatened workers who tried to stop them.

Video posted online last week showed two men and a woman loading up a van with items from a supermarket in Southington then driving away in a van with no license plates. One of the men had shoved a manager to the ground who had asked if the items had been paid for, the Hartford Courant reported.

In Oxford, thieves in two vehicles got away with about $1,600 in laundry detergent, toiletries and other items, state police told the Courant. In a separate incident, three men sped away with multiple TVs from a store in Southington.

The National Retail Federation said a recent survey of retailers has found stores are seeing an uptick in thefts, with the perpetrators being more aggressive. The organization said one of the factors may be state laws that have raised the threshold for what constitutes a felony, or more serious crime.

Experts also say stores are using a less confrontational approach to shoplifters over the years and the ease of reselling stolen goods online are factors.

Ben Dugan, director of organized retail crime and corporate investigations at CVS Health, recently told the Senate judiciary committee that an estimated $500 billion in illicit stolen and counterfeit goods are sold on third-party marketplaces each year.

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