The Loss Prevention Investigator – Atlanta Georgia

            A retail loss prevention investigator is responsible for ensuring that a company’s shrink is kept under control. Now, there are many different causes of shrink and therefore the job is multi-faceted. The first, and most recognizable, form of shrink is from external theft, or shoplifting. The loss prevention investigator is trained in surveillance techniques and how to spot odd or suspicious behavior in a customer. Once this type of behavior is identified they will follow the individual either on foot or by using the store’s CCTV system to gather evidence of a crime.

             The second form of shrink, and most dangerous to a company’s bottom line, is internal theft. This is when an employee begins stealing money or merchandise from their employer. In a similar way to shoplifters the loss prevention investigator will observe and look for the warning signs. Once found he will then initiate an employee theft investigation. This is a means of gathering evidence of the associate’s criminal activity. Once enough evidence is acquired they will then interview the individual and pass on their recommendation to upper management.

             Many companies also lose money because their employees are not following policies and procedures. This reckless behavior can lead to worker’s compensation claims, lawsuits, lost or stolen merchandise, vendor fraud and, in the most extreme cases, armed robbery. Therefore it is important to perform audits and implement checks and balances on all of your processes. Make sure that your company is in compliance with all fire safety and OSHA regulations and keep an eye out for anything that could negatively affect the company’s bottom line. Making a business profitable is management’s job. Ensuring that the business remains profitable is the job of the loss prevention investigator.

For more information contact us at Loss Prevention Investigator or call 1.770.426.0547 – Atlanta Georgia

A Loss Prevention Agent is a Business Asset in Atlanta GA

The retail industry is probably the business category with the greatest need for a loss prevention agent.  The purpose of the agent, or loss prevention investigator, is to identify and resolve issues pertaining to the loss of assets – merchandise, property, cash, or any other kind of property – and to prevent such losses from occurring.

Many times the value of a loss prevention agent is intangible.  The true value of the agent’s value is reflected in the lack of shortage, the decrease in theft, the saving of the operational expense budget dollars through tighter controls.  Actually, the fewer apprehensions of shoplifters, the fewer terminations for employee theft, the fewer procedural violations uncovered, the more successful the loss prevention investigator may be considered.

There are retailers that take on the role of their own loss prevention department, or assign its responsibility to another area of the business.  The fact is that the role of the loss prevention agent is highly specialized with skills developed over a wide variety of situations.  It is not an area for someone without training or experience, or the results of the loss prevention program will not be optimal.

But for a retailer with one or only a few locations, the addition of a loss prevention agent may not be practical.  In that case, the solutions might be a partnership with a company of loss prevention consultants, who can react to immediate issues, set up a practical loss prevention program, conduct periodic audits, and track progress and measure successes.

The best answer for a retailer then may be to “dip his toe in the loss prevention pool” by consulting with an expert loss prevention agent who can analyze, identify and correct procedural vulnerabilities, as well as one who possesses the skills to interview staff members and develop information that leads to the elimination of unacceptable employee behavior.  And an added benefit is the training in shoplifter prevention and shortage awareness can present to all employees.

The loss prevention agent is not a police officer and has different priorities.  The priority of a loss prevention investigator or agent is to improve the profitability of the business through the reduction and recovery of loss.  The priority of a police officer is (as it should be) the reduction of crime in society.

Discuss your situation with a qualified loss prevention agent in Atlanta GA at 770-426-0547 or click here for more information.

Role of the Loss Prevention Agent – Atlanta Georgia

 In most organizations the loss prevention agent is the first line of defense between you, the business owner, and the would-be criminals who are trying to rob you of your profits. External theft, or shoplifting, prevention is what most people associate the job to be about. They either work undercover on the sales floor, pretending to be shopping while providing surveillance of all activities going on within the building, or they’re posted in a camera room monitoring the store’s CCTV system for any wrong-doing. Once a shoplifter is spotted it is the loss prevention agent who goes out to apprehend and detain them until the police arrive.

 The loss prevention agent is also responsible for investigating internal, or employee, theft. There will often be times when in the course of their day they observe a cashier taking money from the till or free bagging merchandise for a friend or relative. In those direct and concrete cases it is their duty to apprehend the employee and any conspirators involved in order to keep the money or merchandise within the store. In more complicated cases the loss prevention agent may simply be called upon to build a case and gather evidence against an individual or group of individuals. His/ her superior will then come in to conclude the case.

 No two days are alike in this line of work. One day you may be faced with a group of raucous teenagers who are causing a diversion in one part of the store while their associate fills a backpack full of clothing. The next day an assistant manager may be observed pinching a $100 out of the cash room till and placing it in his pocket. Later that day a group of thugs may run in, grab a handful of merchandise and run out. The loss prevention agent must stay vigilant and be ready for any and all circumstances.

For more information about loss prevention consultants or loss prevention investigator contact us at Loss Prevention Agent or call 1.770.426.0547 – Atlanta Georgia

Loss Prevention Investigator – Atlanta Georgia

 The job of the loss prevention investigator can be a complicated one. You are the main line of defense that a company has against shoplifters and dishonest employees. As such it is your responsibility to investigate shrinkage and loss, determine where they originated from and, if necessary, apprehend the individuals responsible for that loss. The job’s not over there though. You may also be called up to testify in a court of law as to the criminal activity of the person you apprehended. For this reason you must be thorough and communicate your thoughts effectively.

 Sadly enough, most people are not eager to take responsibility for their actions and accept the consequences. Therefore they enlist the services of legal council to try to find any loophole possible to get them out of trouble. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve showed up to court in my Sunday best just to have the defense attorney take one look at me and plead guilty. See, if your case is airtight (and it should always be) there last hope is if the loss prevention investigator doesn’t show up to court. The case gets thrown out and the criminal walks.

 Now if something like that happens (or you simply lose your case due to poor preparation or communication) you have a new set of problems on your hands. A defendant that has been found not guilty by a court of law can then return and attempt to sue you and your company. This is why it is so important that you always have an airtight, prosecutable case before making an apprehension, maintain good records, and have the ability to convey your thoughts calmly and professionally to a judge if necessary. These are all key to being a successful loss prevention investigator.

For more information about loss prevention agent or loss prevention consultants contact us: Loss Prevention Investigator or call 1.770.426.0547

The Over-eager Loss Prevention Investigator – Atlanta Georgia

I have to say that the thing I’ve always liked most about being a loss prevention investigator is the fact that no 2 days are alike. One day you may have to corral a paranoid schizophrenic kleptomaniac housewife and the very next day you may find yourself in the midst of a gang-banger initiation. (Both of these have happened to me, by the way) It’s definitely an exciting life, but as I’m sure you can imagine it can be a potentially dangerous one if you don’t take the proper precautions, keep your head on a swivel and stay ready for any and everything.

As a loss prevention investigator I’ve done a lot of work in the state of Wisconsin. (The frozen tundra for you football fans) To say it gets cold there is more than just an understatement. However, I keep it pretty toasty in my office, so a couple of weeks ago while working – wearing nothing but a pair of khakis and a t-shirt- I spot a “gentleman” loading up a cart full of high end tennis shoes. Sure enough he fills it to the brim and starts heading for the door. Being the Action Jackson wanna-be that I am I jumped up and went to apprehend him – without a jacket. He did NOT come quietly.

After knocking down one of my colleagues and taking a little jog through a waist-high snow bank the local police had to pull their weapons on him before he finally stopped. Well, now I’m sweating, I’m wet and I’m outside in 4 degree weather dressed in nothing but a t-shirt. Luckily the responding officer let me take a breather in the warm squad car. Of course this was probably just because he couldn’t understand my statement over the sound of my teeth chattering. Point of the story: determination and chutzpa are great, but without preparation and readiness a loss prevention investigator can find his/ herself up a creek without a paddle… or in the snow without a coat… or something. 

For more information about loss prevention agent or loss prevention consultants contact us: Loss Prevention Investigator or call 1.770.426.0547 – Atlanta Georgia


Law Enforcement and the Loss Prevention Agent – Atlanta Georgia

It is the primary job of a loss prevention agent to apprehend shoplifters and detain them until the police arrive. At which time it is the police officer’s job to either arrest the shoplifter or issue them a citation for retail theft (depending on the law in the city or town you happen to be working in). Therefore it is vital that the loss prevention agent build and maintain a working relationship with their local law enforcement agency.

Over the years I have managed to establish a rapport with several great police officers who are happy to show up when called and do what needs to be done. However, I have heard a number of horror stories from others in this line of work. In certain cases I’ve been told of officers showing up and being irritated, or “having an attitude”, about having to arrest the subject. Others have complained about being treated like a criminal themselves by the responding officers. To this I quote the old adage “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”.

It is vital that as a loss prevention agent you follow all of the proper steps to making an apprehension, have your facts straight and have all the necessary paperwork in order for the officer when he/ she arrives – every time. See, nobody likes having to clean up somebody else’s mess – including the police. If your work is shoddy and unprofessional you can expect to be treated as being unprofessional. Be confident and precise, show the proper attention to detail and before you know it a great working relationship will have been established between law enforcement and the loss prevention agent.

For more information about loss prevention consultants or loss prevention investigator contact us: Loss Prevention Agent or call 1.770.426.0547 – Atlanta Georgia

The Nightmare of a Loss Prevention Investigator

Imagine for a moment that you’re a loss prevention investigator working in a department store. You see, via CCTV, a young lady walk into the jewelry department. She begins asking to see a number of different necklaces from one of the newer jewelry associates. The associate pulls several pieces out of the case and allows the young lady to try on each of them. They become engrossed in a conversation, at which time you see the young lady slide one of the necklaces off of the display case and down the front of her jeans. Open and shut case, right? Only when you stop the young lady and bring her back to the office the necklace is nowhere to be found.

This very thing happened to a loss prevention investigator that worked for me, and by the time she called me, and I got to the office she was sweating bullets! She explained to me that she had followed all of the steps to making an apprehension and was positive that the young lady had concealed the necklace down the front of her pants. She had maintained continuous surveillance and knew for certain that the young lady had not discarded the merchandise somewhere else before exiting the store. However, the fact still remained that she could not find the stolen merchandise.

In this case I reviewed the CCTV footage, trusted that what the loss prevention investigator said was accurate and contacted the local police. A female officer showed up several minutes later and took the young lady to the restroom. She returned several minutes later with the necklace. In the interest of decency we’ll just say that the young lady had managed to conceal the merchandise in the “holiest of holies”. Never underestimate the ingenuity of a crook. Situations like this are all in a day’s work for a loss prevention investigator.

For more information contact us at Loss Prevention Investigator or call 1.770.426.0547 – Atlanta Georgia

The Perception of A Loss Prevention Investigator

The Perception of A Loss Prevention Investigator – Atlanta GA

The role of a Loss Prevention Investigator, particularly in the retail business, is not always “catching the bad guy”’, although that sometimes happens.  It is frequently closely related to that of a systems auditor.  The investigator will closely examine loss prevention systems, policies, and procedures, conduct cash audits, perform spot inventory counts, and generally try to identify and report any areas that might need improvement to stop inventory shortages.

Occasionally, employee misconduct is discovered, and this generally where the perception of a loss prevention investigator as a “bad guy” begins.

This is when the loss prevention agent begins to develop a strategy to determine who is involved, how much was lost, and how was it done.  Then, to put together a case to alleviate the problem, either termination and/or prosecution of the offending employee.  And to design ways to prevent internal theft from re-occurring in the future.

Employees are naturally suspicious of anyone who looks at their daily jobs through a magnifying glass, which is exactly what a loss prevention agent will do.  Sometimes there is resentment, and remarks are made by the employees who say, “What’s the matter, doesn’t management trust us?”  Although it is a simple operations audit, there is the fear that they are doing something wrong.

The successful loss prevention investigator will build some rapport with the employees, managers, and subjects of the audit, but must remain fair and objective as he performs his duties. 

The goal of the Loss Prevention Investigator is to become a business partner, contributing to the growth and profitability of the company that employs him.

How can a Loss Prevention Investigator help your business?  Call 770-426-0547 or click Loss Prevention Agent for a consultation. Atlanta GA

The Loss Prevention Agent

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there were approximately 45,500 people who held the position of a loss prevention agent in 2008. Why? Because according to the FBI there were 978,000 incidents of shoplifting the previous year. However, we all know that some shoplifters are slicker than others and quite a few get away unnoticed. So, as high as that number may seem I would invite you to double it. I think that’s probably closer to the actual number of shoplifting incidents throughout the country. This is why the loss prevention agent is vital.

If you’re the owner of a business, or even just the manager, you are constantly concerned with how to make the business run smoothly, how to get people into your stores, how to increase profits. Price points, revenue, sales, hiring, firing, training, etc. To make a long story short, your plate is full. The last thing you need to add to it is worrying about some group of degenerates who have targeted your establishment and deemed you an easy mark and are subsequently robbing you blind. That’s where the loss prevention agent comes in. It is their job to monitor the store for suspicious activity. They are the ones who apprehend shoplifters, testify in court, build cases against dishonest employees, etc. In short, whatever your shrink reduction needs are the loss prevention agent is there to serve.

As the economy continues its downward spiral and unemployment increases, people will become more and more desperate and the incidents of crime in America, including shoplifting, will inevitably increase. For this reason the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 22% job growth in this career field – substantially higher than most others – between now and 2018. As long as there is retail theft there will be a need for the loss prevention agent.

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The Loss Prevention Investigator and the Potential Shoplifter – Atlanta Georgia

Imagine for a moment that you’re a loss prevention investigator and you’re on the job – alone. You spot an elderly Caucasian woman carrying an oversized pocketbook near the lingerie department. A sales associate approaches her but she quickly dismisses them then makes her way to a secluded corner of the store. Soon after an African-American man in his early 20’s comes in wearing baggy jeans and an oversized hooded sweatshirt. He is wearing a ball cap that’s pulled low over his eyes and he heads directly to the Electronics department. Again, you’re alone and you are now faced with a decision. Who do you keep under surveillance? Why?

A loss prevention investigator faces choices like these on a daily basis. However, you have to remember that stereotyping is not an option. To single out someone based on race, creed, religion, gender or age is immoral, and more importantly illegal. Now I know some of you are thinking, “Come on, everybody stereotypes a little bit. They don’t mean anything by it.” And you’re probably right. However, the loss prevention investigator does mean something by it. They mean to catch and prosecute those who break the law. They mean to go to court and testify to the validity of their choices and their actions. This is serious business.

So, who do you keep under surveillance? Well, it’s a trick question. The elderly lady has the means in which to conceal merchandise – her oversized pocketbook, and her avoidance of the associates and customers make her behavior understandably suspicious. The young man’s attire is his means in which to conceal and is simultaneously suspicious in certain circumstances. You are completely justified, for these reasons, to watch either one. If you’re a loss prevention investigator the choice is yours.

For more information about loss prevention agent or loss prevention consultants contact us at Loss prevention investigator or call 1.770.426.0547