(WHTM) — A recent Forbes survey ranks Pennsylvania as the fifth worst state for organized retail crime. The study also found that Pennsylvania had the highest average total value of stolen goods in the country, per resident.
To determine these rankings, Forbes analyzed retail theft statistics and surveyed small businesses with brick-and-mortar stores that employ up to 50 employees.
Forbes then ranked all 50 states and DC and gave them a score out of 100 based on six weighted metrics. These included their retail theft index, the total value of stolen goods per capita, retail crime’s cost to businesses per capita, lost tax revenue due to retail theft, larceny-theft per capita, and three-year change in larceny-theft.
Data came from both the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the FBI Crime Data Explorer.
Using this formula, Forbes gave Pennsylvania an overall score of 81.47 out of 100 in their retail theft index.
According to Forbes, data showed that Pennsylvania’s average total value of stolen goods per capita was $430. This was the highest of all 50 states and significantly higher than the study’s national average of $173.
The Forbes study also found that Pennsylvania had the second highest lost tax revenue per capita, at $96 lost per resident. The state also has the 11th highest cost of retail crime to businesses.
Under Pennsylvania law, Title 18, retail theft includes the taking of merchandise from a store without paying full retail value, altering or removing price tags to deprive the merchant of the full retail value, under-ringing merchandise, etc.
For first-time offenses under $150, the consequence is a summary offense. For second offenses under $150, the consequence is a misdemeanor in the second degree.
For first and second time offenses over $150 but less than $1,000, the offense is also a misdemeanor in the first degree.
For third and subsequent offenses regardless of value, or offenses of $1,000 the consequence is a felony in the third degree.
If convicted, the law requires first-time offenders to pay a fine between $100 and $250, second-time offenders to pay a fine between $250 and $500, and third-time or subsequent offenders to pay a fine of no less than $500. Under the law, courts may also order the operating (driving) privilege of the third-time and subsequent offenders to be suspended for 30 days.