The value of goods stolen from shops has hit a 10-year high, a survey of High Street retailers has said.
Shoplifters steal on average £156 worth of goods at a time
A British Retail Consortium report said goods worth £205m were taken last year in cases where the shoplifter was prosecuted, up 8% on the previous year.
However, the consortium estimates that the actual losses from all shoplifting may be three to four times higher.
It also says not all shop crimes are committed by harmless petty criminals, as many are driven by drug addiction.
The survey's findings are expected to raise concerns about the Sentencing Advisory Panel's proposals to end custodial sentences for shoplifting altogether.
Earlier this year, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said the introduction of fixed penalties for those caught stealing goods had led to a big increase in shoplifting.
In 2004, police were given the power to issue £80 fines instead of an arrest for first time offences and thefts of goods worth less than £200.
The survey also found shoplifters stole on average £156 worth of goods at a time - an increase of £7 on the previous year.
Across stores of all types, the number of detected shoplifting incidents rose by nearly 3% to almost 40 per store per year.
Cases of violence against staff also rose last year but are below the levels of two or three years ago.
BRC director general Kevin Hawkins said: "Last year, shop staff were subjected to around half a million incidents of abuse or violence in their work places and retailers clocked up even greater losses to theft.
"It's clear the current approach is not working. The government and law enforcers must stop believing retail crime is victimless and committed by harmless petty criminals.
"Most shop thieves are driven by drug addiction."
Previously, the Ministry of Justice has insisted it does take shoplifting seriously and stressed shoplifters can be punished by up to seven years in jail.