As the cost-of-living crisis deepens, thieves aren’t after luxury items; in fact, new research suggests they’re just ordinary people looking for everyday items.
A new nationally representative Finder survey revealed that almost one in five Australians, equivalent to 3.8 million people, have stolen basic items in the last 12 months.
“A lot of people are making it difficult, as the cost of essentials like gas, rent, and energy have gone up dramatically,” said Richard Whitten, money expert at Finder.
“The result is a growing subset of Australians who steal consumables to survive.
And what do these basics include? With most people spending an average of $526.86 a month on groceries, and with certain items rising sharply in price over the past 12 months, it may come as no surprise that food is at the top of the list.
The most common form of shoplifting among everyday Australians is to put an item in a grocery store’s self-checkout lane as if it were a cheaper item. In fact, two million people have done it last year.
Another 9 per cent of Australians have items stolen directly while going through self-checkout lines.
“Of course, most self-checkout machines can’t tell brown onions from portobello mushrooms, and I suspect many Australians don’t consider scanning items wrong on purpose to be the same level of theft as running out of a store with a bar. of bread,” Mr. Whitten said.
Running away from a petrol tanker without paying is third on the list of most commonly stolen everyday items, and few Australians choose to run away from a cafe without paying the bill.
If you haven’t been one of the millions of Australians who resort to theft, you’ve probably been tempted. But Mr. Whitten says the best way to (legally) get a better deal on your daily costs is to “shop around for the best deal.”
“Loyalty doesn’t pay. Simple changes could save you hundreds of dollars a year.”