We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Booster Bag?

Mary McMahon
Updated Feb 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A booster bag is a bag which has been designed to conceal stolen merchandise. There are a number of creative variations on this bag, all of which are designed to make thieves difficult to identify and track, and in many stores, patrons are required to check their bags at the counter to avoid the use of booster bags.

Originally, the term was used simply to refer to an especially large bag used to stow away stolen merchandise, and sometimes to garments outfitted to assist thieves. In the modern era, the booster bag has gotten more high-tech: thieves line bags with aluminum foil so that signals from anti-theft devices are blocked, allowing the thief to walk through anti-theft detectors without fear. In addition to lining large bags with foil, thieves can also line clothing to turn themselves into walking booster bags.

The advantage of a foil-lined booster bag for thieves is that it can look perfectly ordinary, allowing the thief to browse the store like any other customer. Because the bag blocks signals from tags, the thief doesn't have to attempt to remove or alter the tags, and since store security are on the lookout for suspicious behavior like long trips to the fitting room, thieves fall below the radar. Thieves also don't need to be nervous when walking out the door, as they can be confident that the signals from the tags in the garments or stolen objects will be blocked.

For stores, of course, foil-lined booster bags pose an immense problem. While stores can ask clients to check bags at the counter, it is not uncommon for women to hold on to small purses and satchels, and in a store with small, expensive items, such a purse can easily be used to conceal stolen items. In stores without counter checks, security have to be especially alert for signs of theft if they want to catch someone in the act of using a booster bag.

In another creative variation on the classic booster bag, a thief cuts a hole in the bottom of a large shoulder bag, allowing the thief to position the bag over someone's purse or bag while it is sitting on a bench or table. The thief can grasp the purse through the hole, allowing him or her to carry the bag off and inspect it at leisure. Especially in crowded areas, it can take the victim some time to realize that the bag has been snatched, and it can be a challenge to identify the thief, since holding a large shoulder bag is an ordinary activity which normally would not attract notice.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By Markerrag — On Jan 13, 2014

Wow. If only people would use all of that ingenuity necessary for coming up with things like booster bags on positive pursuits, the world would be a much kinder place...

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.