11 December 2023- In news we all expected to hear, the latest data from the Pennsylvania court system shows that reports of retail thefts have dramatically increased over multiple years of decline.
While there is not information for 2023, the PA Court System’s own records show an increase of over 30% between 2021 and 2022 in reported retail theft figures, which curtails multiple years of declining theft. In 2021, the state says 24,786 thefts were reported to police officers. In 2022, that number jumped to 32,256.
A note the mention is these figures provided by the court are incidents that have been registered with police. That means, in all likeliness, retail thefts are significantly higher than the figures made available. Just how high would be speculation.
A little under half of all thefts that were reported in the state of Pennsylvania end with convictions or commitment of the offender to a rehabilitation program.
As for who exactly is committing these crimes, Police say that the largest age group is 26-35 year olds, followed by 36-45 year olds.
Unsurprisingly, most retail theft is committed in urban centers. While many think of looting and thefts from Philadelphia, the city county ranks third in number of retail thefts behind Montgomery County and well behind Allegheny County in Western PA. Pittsburgh’s primary county accounts for 13% of all retail theft in the Commonwealth.
Central PA’s Lancaster County and York counties check in at 4% each, with Dauphin County accounting for 3%. Franklin County amounted to 2,118 instances of retail theft in 2022, good for 1.3% of the total recorded retail thefts in the state.