shoplifting: the new day labor?

There is an article in the New York News that explains a spike in shoplifting. Basically, "it's the economy, stupid."

Occasionally, when I enter an establishment wearing my omnipresent backpack, I am asked to leave it at the front of the store to deter shoplifting. Many businesses have signs on the front door telling us that all backpacks/bookbags MUST be left at the front of the store.

I have often questioned this, noting the preponderance of ladies' sometimes very large purses that are allowed, despite the relative ease of concealing purloined objects within them. You just leave the top open and drop things in.

On the other hand you have the treacherous backpack: worn with both straps over the shoulders, the entry point is behind the neck. Not quite as easy to hide your booty as it is with a purse, but the backpack is banned while the hungry purse roams freely.

When I discuss this difference with store employees, I do tell them that I understand their position: they don't make the rules and they, too, are under surveillance. They usually agree with me on the purse vs. backpack question.

When I read the above-mentioned article, imagine my surprise when they show a picture of ... a backpack? No!

Photo courtesy of Business Wire

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