People more likely to shoplift meat than iPhone 4 this Christmas

According to store security experts, gadgets--and the iPhone in particular--are only the fourth most likely shoplifted item. No. 1? Filet Mignon.

There are very few people in the world who have never shoplifted something.

No, I don't have statistics. But I do have a sense of humanity's essential imperfection. So, as Christmas approaches, it might be as well to wonder just what items might be the angels atop the shoplifting Christmas tree.

You might imagine it would be the iPhone 4S. For who could not wish to find Siri lurking in their Christmas stocking?

It seems though, that the iPhone and gadgets in general are merely in fourth place when it comes to being the apple of the shoplifters eye.

The iPhone 4S. Only at No. 4? CC Brett Jordan/Flickr

Store security professionals who were examined by Adweek declared that the most shoplifted item was Filet Mignon and other so-called "luxury meats."

Perhaps meat is easier to steal. It doesn't enjoy a pesky security tag, so you slip it into your overcoat pocket and grill it before the police could ever arrive in your kitchen in search of evidence. It also doesn't have an embedded GPS, so, once you're out of the store, you and your meat are free.

While a very obvious contender, alcohol lurks in second spot, in third we find electric tools. Apparently electric toothbrushes and plug-in tools are the domestic appliances that shoplifters--who are, allegedly, predominantly male--covet most.

However, the store security professionals offered that 100,000 laptops are shoplifted every year. This seems a rather large number and suggests that store security professionals might not be doing a good job. Adweek quoted one expert who said he expected that gadget theft will increase because the quality of the gadgets has increased.

Won't thieves be deterred by all the GPS and other tracking systems that smartphones and laptops now enjoy? The data suggests they might not be.

It might not even be a question of intelligence. It might be that the desire engendered by Apple and its kind is just too much to control. Perhaps soon so many iPhones will be the subject of theft attempts that they will have to be kept behind glass, as are razor blades--and, sometimes, alcohol--in supermarkets.

I have often wondered about the vast security protection surrounding the more expensive razor blades (5th place on the most coveted list for shoplifters). They do seem to enjoy an exalted status wherever they are seen.

Indeed, one security expert told Adweek that online auction sites are positively blessed by an abundance of these Gillette Mach 4's and the like, because they are--for what they are--quite expensive.

So why don't supermarkets keep Filet Mignon under lock and key? Could it be because meat is harder to sell on eBay?

 

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