Shoplifting in Russia soars as economy crumbles

Goods like premium alcohol, sausage, eggs, coffee, cosmetics and perfume are among the most shoplifted items.
By Jared M. Feldschreiber  |  July 24, 2015 at 10:20 AM
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MOSCOW, July 24 (UPI) -- Shoplifting in Russia increased 44 percent in 2014 as a result of sanctions and plunging oil prices, according to data collected by the Federal Tax Service.

In 2014, merchandise worth 930 million rubles (about $15.9 million) was stolen from Russian stores, the Russian newspaper Izvestia reported, according to The Telegraph.

Goods like premium alcohol, sausage, eggs, coffee, cosmetics and perfume were among the most shoplifted items.

Experts told Izvestia that the actual figures could be much higher, as the report counts only losses reported to police.

Most of the shoplifting took place in Moscow.

The falling price of oil and sanctions imposed against Russia by the West in connection with the annexation of Crimea and the incursion into eastern Ukraine led the ruble to lose 40 percent of its value against the dollar in 2014.

These factors contributed to the country's current economic crisis. As the ruble weakened, inflation soared, reaching 11.4 percent last year.

Russia's weaker currency also drove up inflation, which leapt 15 percent by the end of 2014. Many Russians continue to live below the poverty line – about 9,662 rubles ($165 a month).

Alexei Kudrin, Russia's former finance minister, recently said the country would not start to recover for another year.

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