Raw Meat Tops List of Most Shoplifted Items This Holiday Season

According to Adweek and the U.S. Department of Justice, filet mignon and other cuts of “luxury meat” will be prime targets for shoppers taking advantage of their five-finger discount.

Raw Meat Tops List of Most Shoplifted Items This Holiday Season

Ah, the holidays are officially here. Bing Crosby’s voice is crooning on the FM airwaves, stockings are being hung with care and employees are getting inappropriately drunk at company gatherings.

Over the course of this past weekend millions packed our nation’s Best Buys and local malls in an effort to achieve the best deals on gifts and lessen the financial burden of the holiday season. These Black Friday shoppers are cutthroat bargain hunters who do research and scout isles in advance before camping out prior to a store’s post-Thanksgiving madness. The pressure of scoring the ultimate deal can drive some consumers to lapses in judgement — like the woman who pepper-sprayed fellow shoppers for a “competitive advantage.”

A lot of media attention is paid to the men and women who brave the Black Friday masses in order to save $200 on a flat-screen TV. However consumers with sticky fingers are unfettered by this one day of savings on the calendar because they’re after the ultimate discount — free.99.

As the saying goes, ’tis the season for giving, getting — and, um, apparently stealing. According to Adweek, 1 in every 11 shoppers will walk out of a store without paying for something this holiday season. Over the course of an entire year retailers will lose almost $120 billion in sales to people using their five-finger discount.

Barbara Staib, spokesperson for the National Association of Shoplifting Prevention, states that nearly three quarters of thefts aren’t premeditated. The current state of the economy has also contributed to an increase of 6 percent over the past year with shoppers stealing on a need basis — which sheds some light on the most shoplifted item of the holiday season.

Choice cuts of meat have become a Grade-A target for shoplifters (who, by the way, have also made supermarkets and grocery stores the most popular retail setting for theft). “Many police still believe [this] is the most common item stolen from grocery stores and supermarkets,” according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Between 2009 and 2011, the loss rate for “luxury meat” has risen by 21 percent.

Unsurprisingly, supermarkets are the most popular venues for shoplifting in the United States. Supermarkets have a high volume of customers as well as merchandise, while possessing little to no security. It shouldn’t shock anyone that people are taking advantage of this opportunity. Nevertheless it’s still hilarious to picture people shoving high-priced cuts of meat down the front of their jeans.

So next time your family gathers for a meal this holiday season, and your uncle keeps bragging about the “great deal” he got on the rack of lamb, you’ll know exactly what he’s talking about.

[Adweek via Gawker]