Investigations of organized retail crime rings have uncovered a wide variety of goods targeted to be stolen and resold on the black market. One researcher has noted that CRAVED items (meaning those goods that are Concealable, Removable, Available, Valuable, Enjoyable, and Disposable) are more often targeted because of the ease with which criminals can remove these items from stores and convert them into cash or other valuables. On the one hand, some desirable—or “hot”—products, such as cigarettes and alcohol, may always be popular products for thieves.
The desirability of other products may be based on their current popularity (such as new movies, video games, and music titles) or on their use in drug manufacturing activities (such as ephedrine-based cold medications and lithium batteries). In addition, the popularity of products may also be brand-specific. For example, while certain brands of razor blades, printer cartridges, and designer clothing may be frequently targeted for theft, competing brands may be ignored.
Desirable items, in no specific order, include:
- Tobacco products
- Premium razor blades
- Face creams
- Smoking cessation products
- Designer, logo, and leather apparel and shoes (particularly athletic)
- Name-brand power tools
- Vacuum cleaners
- Printer ink cartridges
- Consumer electronics (such as DVD players and GPS units)
- Infant formula
- Music and game DVDs
- Over-the-counter (OTC) medications and test kits.