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Who Steals More: Employees or Traditional Thieves?

Studies show that employees, not traditional thieves, steal the most money and goods from stores. The United States Chamber of Commerce has estimated that about 75 percent of employees steal from their employers, and most do so repeatedly. The median amount of money lost per company is $175,000 US Dollars (USD) a year.

More facts about employee theft:

  • The FBI has called employee theft the "fastest-growing crime in America," and it's estimated that 20 percent of every dollar earned by U.S. companies is lost to employee theft.

  • Not all theft is direct — it's believed that companies lose $400 billion USD per year in productivity because of "time theft," i.e., loafing, working unproductively, taking extra long breaks and coming to work late and leaving early.

  • Men are more likely to steal from their employers than women, and people who hold bachelor's degrees are more likely to steal than those with higher levels of education.

Discussion Comments

By BoatHugger — On Jul 12, 2011

I hear all the time about people stealing from stores or robbing people. I hear of stolen vehicles, stolen electronics and other things. I know that the occurrence of that type of theft is high.

However, I am the manager of an ambulance service and I somehow have office supplies stolen all of the time. Things as small and petty as notepads, legal pads, staplers, and pens. I held a mandatory meeting and told all of my employees that if they are desperate enough to steal these things, I will just give it to them if they need them. All they had to do was ask!

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