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Shoplifting: Young thieves use TikTok to teach their techniques

Shoplifting: Young thieves use TikTok to teach their techniques

Social media network TikTok is said to be in trouble again, as it is being used as a platform for young shoplifters to brag about shoplifting and teach their techniques to avoid getting caught.

“Huge borrowing [en magasin]. “Total: $222,” we can read in a video posted on the platform in April, in which the alleged thief shows off several items of clothing and beauty products that she allegedly took from a store.

On TikTok, young thieves are said to be using the term “borrowing” to replace “stealing,” so they can freely brag about shoplifting and share certain techniques with other netizens without pulling the videos, The Sun reported on Sunday.

“How did you manage to take the clothes?” Can we read in a comment under the same video, that another Internet user suggested hiding the products in a bra or pants.

Instead, other videos show which stores to target and which to avoid, according to British media.

While the use of the word “borrow” is nothing new — some videos offering tips on a successful heist date back to 2020 on TikTok — the trend is said to have come back into play in recent months, with one video even going viral suggesting a heist. Collective from a store last month on one of the famous shopping streets in London, UK.

“It’s very difficult to control the large number of posts uploaded on these platforms. It’s a constant game of whack-a-mole. If ‘borrow’ is removed, something else will take its place,” British technology expert Will Guyatt told The Sun.

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But he believes that social media networks should provide “an easier way for police to interact with social networks.”

When contacted by British media, TikTok would simply remove the few videos referenced, indicating that it “will not allow content that promotes criminal activity.”

It is estimated that shoplifting costs British merchants the equivalent of more than 950 million pounds, or the equivalent of more than $1.6 billion, according to The Sun.