Study: Washington first in nation for retail theft as shoplifters get more violent

Washington state ranks first in the nation for retail theft, according to a study released by Forbes.

With stores across the country closing due to theft loss and safety precautions, organized retail crime has become a serious issue for retailers nationwide.

According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, not only is shoplifting up, but retailers are saying shoplifters are even more aggressive and violent than they were last year.

According to Forbes, who asked small business owners across the country, 79% of small business owners say their monthly losses due to theft range between $500 and $2,500, with 10% saying theft losses per month are over $2,500.

To help combat shoplifting, 64% have increased prices and 50% have installed security cameras. 98% of shop owners have put up some sort of measure to help prevent shoplifting, including motion sensors, inventory control systems, reducing inventory, and hiring additional staff.

Forbes says 21% of small business owners experience theft a few times a week.

As for Washington, our state ranked third worst in total value of stolen goods, averaging about $347 lost per resident. The nationwide average is only $173.

Larceny thefts in Washington are the second-highest per capita, with a 24% growth from 2019 to 2022.