In 2021, Missouri lost out on nearly $70 million in retail sales tax dollars due to theft. That’s according to Dave Overfelt, president of the Missouri Retailers Association.

As a way to fight back against retail theft, St. Louis-based grocer Schnucks has a policy limiting the number of items a customer can buy in their self-checkout lanes to 10 items. Overfelt explained the company’s reasoning.

“Working with their union, they thought that ten would be much more manageable for the employees to watch the multiple checkout lines,” he told Missourinet.

Overfelt feels that the self-checkout limit does not solve the rampant retail theft problem.

“The self-checkout is a problem, just like everything else. But frankly, a lot of the thieves today are coming in and just sweeping shelves, even behind counters, or just wheeling out their whole cart, daring the employees to do something,” he said.

He wants stiffer penalties.

“A pawn shop owner in Kansas City that sold over 14,000 items stolen from the local retailer valuing around $750,000 or more, probably retail twice that,” he said. “They got 20 months! How much time will they even serve?”

He said the system is not working because the consequences are not great enough.


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