May, David C.

Committee Member

Cook, Amanda P.

Committee Member

Haynes, Stacy H.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


The crime of shoplifting has received limited scholarly attention despite millions of shoplifting arrests that occur every year. Our understanding of shoplifting is limited because of this. This study assesses whether offenders arrested for shoplifting that reside in socially disorganized neighborhoods differ from their counterparts from less socially disorganized neighborhoods. Using arrest data from the Meridian Police Department and secondary data from the 2018 American Community Survey, analyses revealed that arrestees from neighborhoods with high levels of poverty were more likely to shoplift from dollar stores, liquor stores, and convenience stores. Demographic findings revealed few gender differences in shoplifting among the arrestees. Arrestees most frequently shoplifted at Walmart and often pilfered non-necessity items. Black arrestees were more likely to shoplift at dollar stores, liquor stores, and convenience stores and less likely to receive a guilty adjudication. White and male arrestees were more likely to have prior offenses.



Arnold Ventures (formerly the Laura and John Arnold Foundation)