|Slang City Mail|
|September 4, 2008|
Slang of the Week: booster (noun)
The most interesting of these was the “booster bag.” Apparently, if you line a shopping bag with enough aluminum foil, it blocks the store’s sensors from detecting security tags as the merchandise is walked out the door.
How much aluminum foil? According alertmetalguard.com, which sells anti-booster bag security systems, 30 layers. Not surprisingly, such bags are pretty hefty, and can sometimes be spotted by security because they are very stiff and look shopworn.
But thieves don’t always get caught, and what they steal can also be surprising. I’d always assumed that when people shoplifted small items like batteries or razors, it was for their personal use. But King Rogers, one of the foremost loss prevention experts in the US, explains in the New Yorker article that shoplifting gangs sometimes work together to collect these small items, which are then resold at flea markets. Based on my experience of dodgy flea markets, I’d say you can fit a lot of tube socks into a booster bag.