Retail theft has always been a problem for businesses. However, over the last few years, stealing and shoplifting have skyrocketed. It’s out of control. Much of the blame lies at the feet of radical progressives who have gutted the U.S. criminal justice system. Thieves are no longer considered criminals. They’re now “misunderstood victims of an impoverished society.”
Invariably, the number of people caught stealing, those who actually steal out of need, is minimal. Most thieves rob and steal because they somehow feel entitled to own what someone else has but not have to pay for it. This used to be an uncommon way of thinking. However, because of a bizarre plummeting of moral fiber, more people think it is okay to steal.
In fact, many walk right in front of surveillance cameras, proudly proclaiming their ill-gotten haul like a fisherman boasting of his prize catch. Businesses are experiencing a crisis! Why have retail theft and shoplifting spiked? Again, because progressive ideology insists these poor people are the victims. But the left’s push to essentially legalize stealing has consequences.
These consequences are first borne by businesses, and then by honest consumers. When businesses have to account for massive losses due to retail theft, they must adjust the price tags on their merchandise. Honest people pay for the self-entitled bad behavior of others. No, it’s not fair. However, there may be hope.
One major U.S. corporation may have discovered a successful way to stop retail theft without locking down inventory or inconveniencing the honest shopper. While not everything that thieves may target would fall into this category, Lowe’s new system will help deter the stealing of a number of items. The technology is actually quite remarkable.
It wouldn’t do a thief much good to steal something that wouldn’t work once they got it out of the store. Lowe’s new technology places a low-cost radio frequency chip inside things such as power tools. If the tool is stolen, it will not work. Project Unlock, which uses blockchain and RFID technology, renders tools inoperable and essentially worthless if they are stolen.
This is bad news for home improvement store thieves but great news for the consumer. The idea that the technology is relatively inexpensive is huge. Project Unlock will not add a lot of money to a company’s expenses. The cost of this theft-preventative technology won’t be as readily visible on the price tag as, say, wages for expanded store security, for instance.
This new method to deter thieves is a win-win for both businesses and consumers. As helpful as these new strategies are for reducing retail theft, it would still be refreshing to see the criminal justice system rejoin the conversation. When the risk again outweighs the reward of stealing, stealing will no longer be appealing. Until then, Lowe’s tells would-be crooks, Good luck getting that power tool to work if you got it via the “five-finger discount.”