Shoplifters fueling secondary market for everyday items

Flea markets, Craigslist and Kijiji are popular fencing spots

Shampoo and beauty creams are popular targets for shoplifters

Shoplifters don’t always try to hit home runs when perusing local store shelves.

Rather it’s everyday items listed for sale on Craigslist or Kijiji, that have Richmond Mounties parting the curtain about the lucrative market for stolen merchandise.

It’s razor blades, shampoo and beauty creams that are hot sellers, RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Dennis Hwang wrote in a press release.

“There is a thriving industry selling stolen merchandise. Retail theft is perhaps the largest source of this underground industry,” Hwang said. “Criminals are working alone or in groups, with specific lists of products to steal akin to shopping lists.”

Also popular are toothbrushes, batteries, video games, movies/videos, bedding and small kitchen appliances, RCMP said.

While much of the stolen merchandise winds up being sold to rival retailers, or at flea markets, but online sites are popular too.

“It is definitely not a victimless crime. We are trying to provide people with some extra knowledge in this area in order to help them make informed decisions. Be smart when shopping for items, especially if the seller has multiple items that are new and in original packaging without corresponding receipts,” Hwang said. “Conduct business in public areas like food courts or coffee shops. These areas are inclined to have video surveillance around to better protect both buyer and seller.”


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