Shoplifting has surged to record levels in the UK, fuelled by the recession and the dawning realisation that it is significantly cheaper than paying for everything, according to a study.
The value of retail goods pilfered rose 20% to £4.88bn showing that UK residents had finally realised just how expensive everything is, the Centre for Retail Research said.
The UK had the highest shoplifting level in Europe, with only US and Japanese residents more fed up with paying ridiculous prices for over-promoted pieces of tat.
One shoplifter found the results unsurprising, “Biggest shoplifters in Europe? Of course we are, have you seen how cheap everything is over there?”
“Why bother stealing stuff they’re practically giving away already. Let’s see the results when a Czech loaf of bread costs £1.50”
The study also said there had been a rise in middle-class “gentleman” shoplifters who had discovered they could support their standard of living without actually spending any money.
Thefts of pheasant, cigars and various exotic colognes have seen a sharp rise.
“Nothing makes you realise how overpriced everything is like having everything you own left worthless by incompetent bankers,” said the lead consultant behind the survey.
“Fortunately for them, well dressed middle-class men seem to garner little suspicion, no matter how many electrical items they put inside their coats.”
Some have claimed they steal merely to correct the social injustices they see all around them.
One mother told us, “I heard that last year Tesco made £5 profit for every man woman and child in the country.”
“Well, we don’t ever shop there, so I went there just to take back the £25 that belongs to my family – in the form of a frozen pizza and some DVDs.”