At Home: Shoplifters get hit in the wallet
When shoplifters steal goods, they might get away scot-free but somebody always pays. Now, some retailers are putting the high cost of shoplifting right back where it belongs: on the thieves.
As the CBC reports, one young shoplifter recently found out the hard way that stores are passing those costs along. Eleni Prontzos, 17, was nabbed for ?stealing $20 worth of makeup from PriceSmart Foods in Vancouver.?
Although the store did not call police, they did get the teen’s name and contact info. As Prontzos told reporters, staff told her ?we’re just going to get your information and you can go.? What she didn’t know is that PriceSmart, part of the Overwaitea food chain, wasn’t about to let her off the hook too easily. A few weeks later, Overwaitea sent her parents a letter demanding to be compensated for the ?investigative expenses? they’d incurred to handle the incident.
Overwaitea wants $300 to settle the bill and has informed the family that, besides the option of recouping the costs in small claims court, the company could still pursue criminal charges in the matter. The teen’s father, Peter Prontzos, refuses to pay, calling the store’s actions a ?moneymaking operation? and telling CBC’s Marketplace that the demand for compensation is ?terrorizing parents.?
Overwaitea isn’t the only company trying to recover some of the millions lost to shoplifting each year. Marketplace has discovered that Shoppers Drug Mart, Loblaws, the Bay, and Zellers are among the stores taking a similar approach. For her part, Eleni Prontzos told reporters She’s learned her lesson. Unfortunately, when it comes to the costs of shoplifting, It’s honest consumers who end up paying the price.
In Foreign News: Today’s college students get failing grade in empathy
Every generation tends to moan about the falling standards of society’s youth, but a new study shows that, when it comes to treating people with empathy, today’s college students really do get a failing grade. As The New York Times reports, Sara Konrath, a researcher at the University of Michigan, ?found that college students today are 40 percent less empathetic than those of 30 years ago,? with the greatest fall in numbers coming mainly after the year 2000.
The findings are based on a major new study, and were reported in May at a meeting of the Association for Psychological Science in Boston. Empathy can be a difficult trait for researchers to define, and Dr. Konrath ?measured four aspects of ?interpersonal sensitivity?,? including sympathy and the ability of subjects to imagine themselves in someone else’s shoes.
In other studies, Americans report sensing an overall decline in ?other people’s kindness and helpfulness,? and reports from 20 years ago also documented the ?increasing narcissism? of college students. For those who aren’t worried about how polite their fellow students may be, the implications run deeper than that: low empathy is linked to violence, sexual offences, and other antisocial behaviour.