More Thefts Happen on Black Friday Than on Any Other Day

November 25, 2015, 3:19 PM UTC
Black Friday shoppers at Wheaton Plaza a
P/Shop27 11/26/04 Black Friday shoppers at Wheaton Plaza and Target there. The parking lot was packed with shoppers and cars driving around looking for empty spaces.
Photograph by The Washington Post — The Washington Post/Getty Images

Shoppers heading out to the nearest Walmart for your holiday gift-buying, take note: More thefts occur on Black Friday when compared to any other day of the year.

Thefts on Black Fridays are on average 2% higher, according to an analysis of thousands of theft claims by insurance company Travelers over the past seven years. When the claims are broken down into off-premise thefts – meaning thefts that happen away from homes – Black Friday thefts are 28% higher than any other day.

“On Black Friday, thieves are just much more focused on the opportunity than on a regular basis,” Patrick Gee, senior vice president at Travelers, told Fortune.

Items left inside vehicles are the main focal point for thieves, Gee says, and they are after some specific products. Clothing and apparel, he said, are 40% more likely to be stolen on Black Friday when compared to any other Friday.

Toys are three times more likely to be taken on Black Friday in comparison to the average Friday. When Travelers took a closer look inside this category, they found video games thefts are 42% higher on Black Friday when compared to the average Friday.

Curiously, theft claims related to electronic items – often the product category that is most splurged upon by Black Friday shoppers – do not significantly differ on Black Friday when put side-by-side with other days.

Shoppers are expected to come out in droves during this Thanksgiving weekend, with the latest survey by the National Retail Federation finding that 135.8 million consumers plan to shop over the next four days. One trend that could combat theft off-premises, however, is online shopping: The NRF estimates that 46% of holiday shopping will be done online, which would be the highest recorded since the NRF first asked the question in 2006.

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