They go store to store picking up things that do not belong to them, and statistics released on Wednesday show shoplifting will reach record levels this year.
The top 12 serial central Ohio shoplifters have 250 theft or shoplifting charges, CrimeTracker 10's Angela An reported.
"There's situational stealing because it's easy, and then you have what people are stealing to sell," said Columbus city prosecutor Bill Hedrick.
Dana Caver is among the city's most wanted serial shoplifters.
Prosecutors said Caver, 59, was recently captured on security cameras allegedly shoplifting from a southwest side Walmart.
Surveillance video showed Caver pulling merchandise out of his pant leg.
Law enforcement officials have distributed posters with some of the city's most notorious shoplifters, An reported.
They said they know that despite the release of their names and pictures, the most wanted shoplifters are not likely to quit until they are arrested.
Statistics show the crime is increasing in Columbus, An reported.
In 2008, prosecutors filed 2,711 theft charges, and 831 charges have already been filed this year.
Prosecutors said at this pace they expect to top 3,300 theft charges by the end of 2011.
"Now we track people with 10 or more prior thefts," Hedrick said. "So any time we charge someone and they have this many cases, we give them a special sheet called a multiple offender."
Hedrick says he hopes special attention by the courts will lead to more time in jail and less time serial shoplifters have to spend in stores.
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