Shoplifting is becoming a huge burden on retailers across Germany. A new study shows shop owners retailers incurred losses about 3.8 billion euros ($US5.04 billion) in 2012.
The survey of 17,000 stores by the EHI scientific institute revealed on Tuesday that about half of the losses were caused by regular customers.
Another 800 million euros worth of goods were stolen by employees, with the remainder swiped by suppliers on the road from the factory to the retail store.
Deutsche Welle reports the favorite items were sunglasses, cigarettes, perfumes, alcoholic beverages, razor blades and clothing.
EHI researcher Frank Horst said in thieves were actually caught in only 2% of all shoplifting cases . The the rest were not.
The report added that last year retailers installed new anti-theft systems at a cost of 1.2 billion euros - to little avail.