Has the Internet Increased Theft?

There is an interesting article about how a man was stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars by switching barcodes on boxes of Legos to pay a cheaper price for them. After wrongfully purchasing the Legos for a lower price he would then turn around and sell them on the internet. This man was able to make lots of money by selling his semi-stolen boxes of Legos for less then the store was selling them for. The internet has made private party sales easer which has increased the incentive to steal products for the purpose of reselling them.


Bob said...

I have heard of similar instances of people stealing high priced items and selling them online for a cheap price. There were some people who were able to break into a Costco I was doing a sales promotion at last year who stole thousands of dollars worth of merchandise that included laptops, portable DVD players, and cameras. They tried selling these items a week later on EBay for about half the price you would pay in the store and ended up getting caught and thrown in jail. I don’t think it’s even a question that people are selling a lot of stolen items online, and I think being able to auction off personal items through the internet creates a big incentive for people to steal products and sell them for dirt cheap.

Bree said...

I've also heard of a similar situation where a grown woman was working at a craft store and getting things at a discounted price and then selling them online to make a profit. I don't THINK that's illegal but it doesn't seem right. I can see a kid doing this because they're always after an easy buck but a grown woman, mother of three? Absolutely ridiculous and completely dishonest!

Dr. Tufte said...

-1 on Savannah's post for spelling errors.

I wonder how much the internet is relevent to this story. People have always stolen things this way. I'm bothered by the fact that there is little or no discussion of whether 1) this has increased with the internet, or 2) are we just better able to measure it or catch people because of the internet.