POLICE are warning the public about the consequences of shoplifting. Shoplifting is a crime that affects virtually almost every business sector in society. The consequences of shoplifting ultimately effect business owners and employees, business patrons, and the perpetrators in an unfavourable way. The consequences of shoplifting in some cases set up new businesses to fail. Businesses lose a huge amount of money as a result of shoplifting and are forced to put security measures in place to prevent their businesses from suffering further loss. In addition to lost profits, the consequences also force businesses to raise prices and the consumer - you - to pay for items at a higher price. Increased security measures such as backpack or bag check-in rules, security cameras and/or guards, special security systems, and other warning or alarm protections, all cost time and money to implement.The legal consequences of shoplifting can include any or all of prison time, punitive fines, community service hours, and more. Offenders are often prohibited from entering a business from which they stole goods. Shoplifting is not a game and has a negative impact and could land you with a criminal record. Amanzimtoti communications officer Captain Charlene van der Spuy said: “I advise the public to refrain from shoplifting. The business sector in shopping malls, et cetera, take this crime very seriously and you will be arrested when caught, and prosecuted.”“The cost or value of the item does not matter. Theft is theft. There will be serious implications, for those caught shoplifting. Do not take the chance with the idea that you will not be caught. You will be arrested and cause you and your family embarrassment, and certainly impact your future negatively,” she added. - Supplied.