Retailers beware shoplifters – and employees

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Thieves disguised as employees steal more from retailers than do thieves disguised as shoppers.

Employee theft accounts for 44.1 percent of retail theft in North America, while customer theft — including shoplifting and organized retail crime — is responsible for 43.2 percent.

In 2011, employees pilfered about $45.3 billion, the report says.

The highest average theft rates are found in the apparel/clothing (1.87 percent), followed by health and beauty aids/pharmacy (1.79 percent).

Theft of cosmetics items such as mascara, eyeliner and eye shadow increased 30 percent to 2.14 percent in 2011.