I asked CBC for a preview copy of the new documentary The Secret History Of Shoplifting simply because frankly that title intrigued me.
And after watching it I'm ready to admit it's a surprisingly topical look at the phenomenon of shoplifting as seen from all sides.
First of all there's the coming holiday and the realization many people have been severely hit by the recession. So shoplifting is currently on the rise.
This well made TV study opens by telling us there are 600,000 shoplifting incidents every day in North America.
And the cost of replacing all that pilfered merchandice costs approximately $40 million every year in the U.S. and Canada.
The footage we're shown is pretty amazing from security cam stuff of actual incidents to all the latest gadgets designed to thwart the thieves.
Some of the people we meet are pretty amazing,too. They include a formerly compulsive shoplifter who helps others beat the addiction. And there's a Southern U.S. sheriff who is real down on "lifters" and acts strongly to scare them out of the practice. Grrrr!
I did not know that much of the shoplifting can be inside --employees who feel they're being misused strike back. And there's the increasing involvement of professional crime: shoplifting has become a big business.
The hour was directed and written by Andy Blicq and is recommended before you run off to the malls for your Christmas shopping. Blicq warns those supposedly irresistible bargains often offered by some unscrupulous discounters could really be contraband.
THE SECRET HISTORY OF SHOPLIFTING premieres on CBC-TV Thurs. Dec.3 at 8 p.m. with the repeat on CBC News Network Frid. Dec. 4 at 10.