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Thieves May Use Booster Bags in Shoplifting

booster bag, shoplifting, Illinois Criminal Defense LawyerWhen most people think about shoplifting, the first thing that comes to mind may be a young person slipping a candy bar or other small item into his or her pocket and walking out of a store. While such a scenario certainly does represent a common form of retail theft, the reality is that shoplifting has evolved into a much more advanced problem. It frequently involves people of all ages and increasingly complex tools and techniques designed to help them illegally obtain merchandise without paying full retail price. One of these tools is called a “booster bag” and the use of such bags is becoming a large problem for retailers in the battle against shoplifting.

In many retail establishments, most items, and particularly those that are likely to stolen, are tagged with some sort of security device. The device is paired with a detector stationed near the store exits that identify still-active devices on merchandise before it leaves the store. Many security tags are hidden in packaging or affixed to an item in such a way that makes it difficult for a would-be thief to remove without being noticed or permanently damaging the product. Obviously, this is intentional and, in many cases, provides a decent level of protection against theft.

More determined thieves, however, are starting to come prepared. By bringing a booster bag with them into the store, they are looking to defeat loss prevention efforts and get the merchandise they want, regardless of security tags. A booster bag can be any container, but is often a shopping bag, purse or backpack, that is lined with aluminum or other type of foil aimed at hampering the security tag detection system at the store’s exit. The foil creates a barrier between the tagged item inside and the detector, often allowing a shoplifter to walk out without sounding an alarm. As one might imagine, the possibilities for a losses in a particular store can be significant as a booster bag could potentially hold a large amount of illicit merchandise.

Efforts are underway among retailers and loss prevention companies to combat the use of booster bags. However, as with any systemic improvements, progress can sometime be slow, leaving a number of retail establishments rather unprotected.

If you have been charged with shoplifting and were caught with a booster bag, building a competent defense can be challenging. Stephen A. Brundage, an experienced DuPage County criminal defense attorney, however, is up to that challenge. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation to review your case. We will help you understand your options and work with you to protect your future.

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