According to the FBI's UCR report, the state with the highest shoplifting rate currently is Virginia.

Back in 1929, the US government sanctioned a report which was called the UCR (Uniform Crime Reporting). It was prepared by all the chiefs of police together in order to present to the nation a uniform and reliable report on crime statistics. Government officials were pleased with this report and so in 1930, the FBI was brought in to it and making of this report was handed over to them. They were responsible for the collection, publication, and archiving of the records.

Studies have revealed that the most stolen items from shops and supermarkets are not high priced goods, but daily essentials. At the top of the list, you will find choice cut meat. This tells us something about the person doing the shoplifting. According to social behavior specialists, when people who cannot afford to have a luxury lifestyle visit a supermarket, they think that they too are entitled to all the products on sale. But because they are not in a position to purchase all that they want, some tend to steal.

In Virginia, Shoplifting is considered a larceny. Shoplifters tend to steal things without knowing anything about the code regarding it. They fall into trouble easily because of this. Depending on the stolen item's value, the person could be charged with petty larceny or grand larceny. In 18.2-95 of Virginia's code section; it states that grand larceny is to steal items with a value of more than $200. In the same code, under 18.2-96, stealing items with a value below $200 is considered petty larceny.

Considering the amount of shoplifting cases reported in the state, most of them are charged in a way that makes it much easier for the shoplifter to be convicted. The statutes of Virginia make the concealment of merchandise or altering price tags of items larceny, and the prosecution could easily prove its case. In the worst-case scenario, a shoplifter could get up to 20 years in prison.

Nearly 23 million people around the world are caught shoplifting annually. But is it need, or greed? Most shoplifters in the Virginia area are law abiding and decent citizens. Among the adult offenders, most of them do not have even a vague idea of why or how they started shoplifting. They cannot even find an answer to why they continue, even after they had been caught in the past. Often it is simply an impulse control issue.

Studies carried out by psychologists reveal that the majority of cases involve "getting something for nothing." Studies further reveal that although everybody likes to get things for free most people do not cross the fine line between receiving and stealing. Psychological studies show that, to a shoplifter, receiving something for nothing is like getting a gift. That may well be the reason for Virginia to have such statutes because they see too much of shoplifting cases compared to the rest of the country.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Ari Novick is the President of A website dedicated to educating people about theft education. Click here for more information on Theft Classes Online

Click here for more information on Virginia Theft and Shoplifting Classes Online.