New survey finds more than 40% of adults have shoplifted

A recent survey by Express Legal Funding, conducted with the help of SurveyMonkey, revealed many surprising statistics about shoplifting, including that more than 40% of U.S. adults say they have ever stolen merchandise from a store.

With more than 535 participating consumers, the commissioned study provides insight into the demographics, motivations and hesitations related to shoplifting behavior, providing a detailed understanding of this pervasive problem.

The survey reveals several notable findings, including:

Overall prevalence:

  • 40% of those surveyed admitted to shoplifting at least once.
  • 66% of respondents across all age groups know someone who has shoplifted, indicating that this behavior is widespread across generations.

Gender differences:

  • Women shoplift more than men: 43% of women surveyed said they had ever shoplifted, while only 37% of men said they had ever shoplifted.
  • Women are consistently more likely than men to know someone who has shoplifted, with a difference of about 10% in each region.

Age trends:

  • The likelihood of shoplifting decreases with age, with the 18-24 age group reporting the highest likelihood of shoplifting in the next two years, while the 55 and more has the lowest probability.

Motivation :

  • Financial hardship was the most common and consistently cited primary reason for shoplifting across all demographic groups (52% overall).
  • Thrill-seeking or thrill-seeking while stealing was reported as the main factor in shoplifting by 19% of those surveyed.


  • The most frequently cited reason for hesitancy toward retail theft in all regions is the belief that shoplifting is morally wrong or against their religion (70%), followed by out of fear of getting into trouble with the police.

Technology trend

  • More Android phone users (17%) say they will likely experience shoplifting in the next two years, while only 13% of iPhone users said they will. they probably would.