What is the likely facial expression of a Shoplifter?

– Shoplifters are distributed evenly among men and women –


Does this person  fit the typical profile of a shoplifter?  Strangely enough the average shoplifter is likely an adult, either male or female, and commits an act of shoplifting about twice a week (Barbara Staib., 2014).



An offender is likely to have a psychological illness and not have premeditated the act of shoplifting since they are not professionals.  Professional shoplifters make up only 3% of the shoplifting demographic ( (Barbara Staib., 2014).


The most amazing discovery about shop lifters is the typical emotion that they display.  Now, you would probably think, you should look for a person who is either filled with anxiety, or perhaps, on the other extreme, is displaying extraordinary aloofness and control.


sadnessThe typical emotion associated with a shoplifter is depression (National Learning Resource Center, 2014).  For the sake of this conversation I would describe the facial expression (alone) as the same as sadness.  Depression carries with it other physical traits in the body but the emotion displayed is sadness.



Take a look at the picture of above.  The look of sadness is obvious.  The eyelids drop, the eyebrows are lowered, the lips are turned down, and there is an amazing lack of tension in the face. 

Other signs of depression are internal and cannot be readily observed.  Depression has a “slowing effect” on the body.  The person may show signs of fatigue or reduced energy.  Although anxiousness may also be displayed because it is also a sign of depression (WebMD, 2014).

 When you are calibrating a profile of the shoplifter for your LP Program don’t forget the most obvious characteristic, depression (sadness).  Computerized facial recognition has created many advantages in the recognition of facial expressions. 


Technology exists to find potential shoplifters based on a comparison of their faces with faces in a database of known shoplifters. 

However I believe there is no substitute for the eyes of the ever alert LP professional, store owner, or customer.



Hello, my name is Eric Brown and I am a small business, executive and leadership coach. ​I work with individuals and groups to strengthen their leadership, technical,and managerial skills. I will enable you to achieve your desired success in the workplace and life.

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