- Associated Press - Sunday, January 24, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The Columbus city attorney says shop lifting is on the rise in Ohio’s capital city.

City Attorney Rick Pfeiffer (FEYE’-fuhr) says prosecutors in his office filed 4,590 theft charges last year, an increase of 11 percent from 2014.

Pfeiffer says the value of stolen merchandise that was recovered jumped 23 percent to $695,527 last year.

Pfeiffer says most shoplifting involves repeat offenders, with four out of five cases perpetrated by suspects with criminal records.

First Assistant City Prosecutor Bill Hedrick attributes the increase to Ohio’s heroin epidemic, organized retail crime, and the ability to easily sell stolen goods on the Internet.

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