Most customer theft goes unreported.

An American study maintained that four out of 10 people had stolen from a shop at some time in their lives (Kallis & Vanier 1985), and in an Australian study, 54 percent of Tasmanian 15-year-old boys and 44 per cent of girls surveyed admitted stealing from a shop in the previous three years (Warner 1982).

An American study showed that younger males seemed to shoplift more than younger females, but that girls caught up as they got older (Challinger 1989). These findings were supported by a Victorian victim survey, which found the average age of females detected shoplifting was 26.4 years and 19.4 for males.

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