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Prosecutor Says Heroin Epidemic Driving Increase in Shoplifting

Roger Ludwick
The Columbus City Attorney's Office says shoplifting was upmore than 11 percent last year.

The Columbus City Attorney's office says the number of retail thefts grew significantly last year.

Assistant City Prosecutor Bill Hedrick says the value of shoplifted merchandise is also up by more than 22 percent.

Hedrick cites three likely causes for the increase.

"Particularly the heroin epidemic has really hit us hard. That's one of the things. And then we also have larger retail theft rings. These are professional thieves that are targeting stores. The third reason I think the stats are going up, the stores are becoming more and more vigilant about prosecuting theft,"  Hedrick said.

Hedrick says retailers estimate shoplifting increases the price consumers pay for goods by 8 percent.