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The Shoplifting Epidemic Touted By Fox News Is Likely Overblown, Data Shows

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FOX exaggerated shoplifting threatThere is a retail crime wave terrorizing regular Americans — if you’re tuned in to conservative media.

It can be difficult to gauge whether that is true, if shoplifting really is at a high. Some places, like Detroit, have online databases with recent crime statistics, but there is no national database where members of the public can see if retail crime specifically is rising or falling.

The term retailers use to describe merchandise loss is “shrink,” a measure that includes theft from customers but also from employees, lost merchandise and unfulfilled orders. Last week, the National Retail Federation put out a report saying organized retail crime accounted for nearly half of overall shrink. This week, the group walked it back.

Our picture of reality is hazy. Flip the channel to Fox News, though, and the crisis has been portrayed as a dire one.

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