Serial Shoplifters Sharing How-To Videos on TikTok

Serial shoplifters are using TikTok to share videos that teach children how to steal from stores. These videos have gained thousands of views and provide step-by-step guides on how to avoid detection by staff, security officers, and CCTV. Some videos even highlight which stores are the easiest targets and which ones are too risky to attempt stealing from.

To evade TikTok’s content filters, users replace the terms “stealing” and “shoplifting” with “borrowing”. They also conceal their identities by using footage of other people.

This issue gained attention last month when a viral clip on TikTok suggested a mass shoplift on Oxford Street in London. The consequences of this type of crime are significant, costing retailers over £950 million per year.

In response to the rising number of attacks, Tesco has decided to provide bodycams to its staff. The company’s CEO, Ken Murphy, condemned the violence as an insult.

Tech expert Will Guyatt acknowledges the challenge of moderating platforms like TikTok due to the overwhelming volume of uploaded posts. He suggests that there should be a more efficient way for the police to collaborate with social networks.

TikTok claims to have removed the flagged clips and stated that they do not permit content that promotes criminal activity. However, the issue persists as shoplifters continue to find loopholes and alternative ways to share their tutorials.