Watches & Warnings Warnings

New Report: Bad Economy Means More Thefts

POSTED: Friday, December 12, 2008 - 8:40pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - 11:00am

A new report says, internal thefts at businesses are up and companies are finding their "trusted employees" are the ones who often commit the crimes.

The institute for Corporate Productivity recently polled 392 companies across the U.S. on internal thefts.

And this week, the results were made public.

People were asked if they noticed more of their coworkers were stealing money from their jobs this year.

18-percent said yes.

41-percent were unsure.

24-percent said their coworkers were stealing things other than money, like clothes and office supplies.

A report shows, overall, in 2007, companies lost an average of 2-point-4-million dollars to fraud.

The majority of it was by employees.

That's up almost a million bucks from 2005.

Officials say, the reason is easy- we're living in a recession.

The increase is also being seen in Tyler.

Officer Don Martin says, "We average 10 per month."

Tyler Police Officer Don Martin tells us, in 2007, there were 115 internal thefts, or embezzlement cases, reported in Tyler.

This year, the number sits at 125.

And the year isn't over yet.

Officer Martin says, "It's not worth it. You find it surprising what people are taking. The price they pay when they get caught, is just not worth it."

If someone is caught stealing, the punishment depends on how much was taken.

Officer Martin says, if it's more than 50-bucks, you can expect to go to jail and pay fines.

He adds, "You're paying probably ten times as much as it would probably have been, if you just paid for the item."

The report also shows, the people who are stealing aren't your "stereotypical criminals."

It says, senior citizens are responsible for 25-percent of all reported internal frauds.

Overall, 85-percent are men.

And, 38-percent have at least a bachelor's degree.

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