15 Most Popular Items People Steal From Target

Thieves prefer these things from Target when picking up items without paying.

Target store
Updated May 28, 2024
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Target is popular for shoppers looking to save on everyday essentials and home goods, but it can also be a popular spot for shoplifting.

The retailer regularly sees the disappearance of different items from its shelves across the country, with some items being more popular than others.

So, which products are getting lifted the most? See if some of your favorites are on this list.

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Toys

Mat Hayward/Adobe bullseye display in target store

Some toys can get expensive at Target compared to lower prices on other products throughout the store, which makes them susceptible to theft.

As with many shoplifted items, smaller and more expensive toys tend to get lifted, as well as high-demand items.

Razor blades

Syda Productions/Adobe man shaving beard using razor

You may have seen razor blades behind glass at your local Target, which may be because they’re popular with shoplifters.

The packages tend to be small, making them easy to carry out while also being more expensive to replace dull blades.

Electronics

Akira Kaelyn/Adobe top view with a digital camera

Some items like video game consoles and televisions are going to be challenging to carry out of a store without someone noticing.

But there are smaller items like video games or earbuds that are easier to grab and still get a high rate of return on the secondary market.

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Meat

JackF/Adobe woman checking meat at grocery store

Target and other retailers like Walmart include a grocery section with different items you can conveniently grab.

Meat is an expensive item, especially specific cuts of meat. So, it can be tempting to grab some meat from the grocery section and easily carry it out of the store.

Printer ink

piyaphunjun/Adobe inkjet cartridge

A little printer ink cartridge can cost a lot of money, making it a good item for shoplifters to aim for.

Printer ink also doesn’t have much difference in cost compared to other retailers, so it’s difficult to find it cheaper elsewhere.

For example, an HP color and black ink printer combo pack costs $34.99 at Target and through HP’s website. Buying it on Amazon only saves you five cents.

Cosmetics

Kobrinphoto/Adobe beautiful girl with red lips

Cosmetics are one of the easiest products to shoplift with their compact designs and lack of safety measures to protect them.

Things like lipstick and mascara are easy to take from the shelves and pockets without much notice compared to larger or more expensive items.

Baby formula

netrun78/Adobe formula for baby feeding

Baby formula can be expensive, and parents may not have the cash to pay for it, leading to the product disappearing from shelves.

There are ways to get assistance covering the cost of formula for those in need to help reduce the shoplifting of formula and keep babies fed.

Accessories

rawpixel.com/Adobe wrist watch product shoot

Accessories can really make an outfit stand out with things like belts, purses, and watches. That also may be why accessories are one of the most popular items with shoplifters.

Thieves may also find it convenient to pick up expensive items like watches and belts that are also small and easy to carry out without much notice.

Socks

Evgeniya369/Adobe  pile of multi colored socks

You may not think about how much you like a good pair of socks until you wear holes in them from use and need to get some new ones.

Socks are a staple when you’re getting dressed every day — and they’re also small enough to carry out of a store.

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Skincare

Rido/Adobe woman applying moisturizer

Cosmetics aren’t the only popular item in the beauty section.

Skincare items, including cleansers, make-up removers, and rejuvenating serums, also get taken by shoplifters.

These types of products can be some of the more expensive items at Target while also being small enough to be easily carried away without much notice.

Medication

Pormezz/Adobe hands holding medication

Over-the-counter medication is easy to steal due to its size compared to the cost.

There are also other factors unique to medication that may not be the case for other products.

Over-the-counter medication can be abused, and shoppers may have to show an ID to buy it, so they skip that step and simply steal it instead.

Clothing

Llstock/Adobe wearing a face mask while shopping

Target has a wide selection of clothing, and it could be easy to steal items.

Shoplifters can tuck shirts into jackets or put an item on in a fitting room under the clothes they wore to walk out without much notice that they were stealing things.

Alcohol

Nomad_Soul/Adobe woman choosing wine in alcohol section in market

The liquor selection at Target stores has a variety of bottles of liquor, wine, or beer to choose from.

Some alcohol is pricey, making it more susceptible to theft, and an age minimum for purchase could encourage some shoppers to walk out without paying.

Trading cards

wachiwit/Adobe pokemon trading card game

There are plenty of options for trading and reselling trading cards.

Baseball trading cards or trading cards for pop culture items like Pokemon can get expensive if you find the right card.

So, thieves may see it as an opportunity to pick up a pack and get lucky with a card that could bring them extra cash in exchange for stealing a pack.

Batteries

Tomasz/Adobe cyan and silver battery on white background

Batteries fit into a good spot for shoplifters because they are both expensive but small enough to carry out.

A pack of 24 name-brand AAA batteries is around $18 at Target, making it tempting for thieves to grab them and go.

Bottom line

MichaelVi/Adobe target corporation bullseye logo

Facing higher prices? We've all been there. But remember, responsible spending habits now can lead to financial fitness in the long run.

Leverage tools like Target's Circle Rewards and regular budgeting to navigate price fluctuations confidently.

You'll avoid the risks of shoplifting and cultivate healthy financial habits for a brighter future.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen

Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.