Shoppers may be grabbing lots of things off shelves, but many are leaving stores without paying for them.
During the four weeks leading up to Christmas, an estimated $1.84 billion in merchandise will be shoplifted this year, according to The Global Retail Theft Barometer, a survey of retailers worldwide. That's up about 6 percent from $1.7 billion during the same period last year.
Some people always get sticky fingers during the holidays. After all, crowded stores and harried clerks make it easier to slip a sweater under a coat undetected. But higher joblessness and falling wages have contributed to an even bigger rise this year.