Cellphones On The Salesfloor – The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Of It

The use of cellphones in the workplace has become more prolific over the years. It used to be that managers could put out a policy stating that the use of cellphones was strictly forbidden. I used to be in this camp and to a certain extent, I still am. As a Loss Prevention Manager, I saw the negative impact phones could have on customer service. Employees would focus on the phone at the expense of the customers. When the culprit was a cashier I would see the violators of the policy hiding the phone next to the register and texting in the midst of a transaction. That was totally unacceptable and did on more than one occasion result in a register error. Either merchandise was not properly scanned or the wrong change was tendered to the customer. In several cases, I had cashiers texting family and friends telling them to come in and go through their checkout lane. This would result in theft through passing or “giving back too much change” commonly known as cash theft. Of course, using the phone as a means of stealing from the store was the ugly of the cellphone issues. 

     The bad side of the cellphone conundrum is the customer service issues they cause. You have seen it, the sales floor employee looking at their phone and texting or looking through their music. Eye contact is almost non-existent. As a shopper, this drives me up to the wall. If the employees would spend as much attention to shoppers as they do their phones I can only begin to imagine the increased sales stores would enjoy. Now, as a manager in a college library, I have student assistants working for me who all have phones and most carry the phone in their back pockets. We have policies restricting when they can use the phone but often I have to correct them when they violate the policy and pull the phone out and begin texting. We have the policy in place for the same reasons that stores have (or used to have) the policy; to ensure customer service is the number one priority. Making the enforcement of the policy more difficult is that other supervisors are pulling out their phones and using them. This seems a bit hypocritical in my view.  

     There is a good side to allowing cellphones in a retail or customer service environment and it has softened me just a tad to the arguments in favor of them. If a store employee is on the sales floor and sees suspicious activity from a potential shoplifter the employee can quickly get in contact with a manager without looking for a store phone. 2-way radios are not always the most effective communication devices. Some associates keep the volume on their radios turned up and even if an earpiece is in use conversations can be overheard. I have had shoplifting suspects hear employees talking and drop merchandise as I was preparing to stop them for stealing. I have also seen customers get angry when they heard employees talking about them over radios. It could be talking about the customer’s behavior or something the customer was saying that was causing a disturbance. For example, the customer could be causing a scene about a return they were trying to do that was refused. Radios are just not always the best communication tool from a safety or security perspective. Cellphones make a convenient and more discreet method of communication and can even include text messaging which isn’t heard at all.  

     Another pro-cellphone argument is the ability to summon help in a store in the event of an emergency. As we see in social media today there is hardly a significant event that can take place without someone(s) getting it on a cellphone camera. From natural disasters to vehicle accidents and even active shooters, right or wrong people are going to get video and messages out and post it. The more employees that are allowed to carry their phones the greater the likelihood first responders will be notified quickly from multiple sources in the store. Think about the advantages this could have in the event of an altercation or robbery. Someone is likely to get through to authorities much quicker than if a store phone is the only accessible communication device. 

     As much as they can be a pain in the neck to retailers, cellphones are here to stay. By laying out expectations and policies regarding when they can be used managers can try to manage the use of phones while being flexible in allowing them to be in an employee’s possession. Who knows, such a policy might be a lifesaver someday…literally.   

Caught A Shoplifter? Now What? To Prosecute Or Not

Do you go fishing? Have you ever caught a fish and had to decide if you were going to keep it or not? Sometimes there are limits to the number of a certain breed of fish you can catch and keep in a day. There are also size limits that are imposed on certain species, for example; a Large Mouth Bass might have to be fourteen inches long or longer in order to keep it in South Carolina. There are even seasons when certain fish cannot be kept if caught. As an example in Texas, according to texas.gov, Red Snapper season in federal waters closed on August 22 in 2018. In some situations where you can keep fish but only certain quantities you may have to decide if you are going to catch and release and keep the larger fish or take a chance and just reach your limit for the day. Shoplifting can be somewhat the same. You were wondering how fishing was going to tie in to Retail Loss Prevention weren’t you? 

     Now I am not talking about catch and release because a shoplifter does not fit the right height and weight limits. I am talking about whether a store management team makes a decision if they are going to prosecute shoplifters if they are caught period. Some store managers make a decision not to prosecute anyone for theft. The reasons are varied but may include the potential danger involved with stopping a crook or the risk of making a stop and the suspect does not have any merchandise (or says they do not and makes the manager question the decision to stop).  Sometimes the decision not to prosecute rests on a dollar amount. A shoplifter might be stopped for an item under $20 but will not be prosecuted for that particular theft. Let’s explore why such decisions are made.

     One of the major reasons for not prosecuting shoplifters, especially when the value of the item falls under a specific price point is that the amount of time spent on the case far exceeds what the value of the item was in the first place. If you choose to stop a shoplifter you will want the manager to write up some kind of report of the incident. In Loss Prevention we have incident reports to complete. There is also the time spent by the manager waiting with the shoplifter in an office for the police to show up. Depending on the jurisdiction police may issue a citation to appear in court for the alleged crime or they may take the suspect into custody. Follow all of this up with time spent in court prosecuting the case. By the time all is said and done a prosecuted case can be more costly to the merchant than just recovering the product and letting the suspect go.

     Before you think that you have made up your mind on the direction you are going to take I would like you to think about the other perspective on this subject. Why would you decide to prosecute a shoplifting case? If you catch and detain someone, decide to release the suspect and they get into an accident you could potentially be held responsible. That is unlikely but has to be taken into consideration. If the suspect is a juvenile and you detain them you absolutely cannot release them on their own. Yes, you could choose to release them to a parent or guardian but there may be reasons it would be better to contact the police. I have seen my share of irate parents and later wished I had released the child to authorities.

     While it may not seem like an important reason for you to prosecute a shoplifter I would ask you to consider one more thing. Each time a shoplifter gets caught, cries and gets cut loose with a promise not to steal again it is another crime that there is no record of being committed. Prosecuting a thief may not make a significant difference to you but in the big picture a shoplifter with no official police record is a shoplifter with a clean record. That minimizes any penalty they may get when they are finally caught and prosecuted. Shoplifters who get away with their crimes continue to hurt retailers until they do get caught and prosecuted. 

     Catch and release when fishing may or may not be your choice. Prosecuting a shoplifter or not is up to you. Safety, efficiency, productivity and ramifications must all be taken into consideration. Ultimately the choice is up to the store owner. Just remember, whatever you decide to do be consistent and be fair with everyone you deal with.

An Investment For Your Business

When new legislation passes in many states, the array of issues that come to new elected officials varies considerably.  

Shoplifting laws are one of the many topics legislators review to make sure the punishment is appropriate.  Businesses and small businesses in general need to be protected by the laws of the country to ensure the economic growth of a locality, the state and ultimately the country.

The punishment for shoplifting varies according to the state and in some instances the county where the business is located.  Laws are put in place to make sure these silent crimes are not committed with impunity, and the shoplifter is prosecuted according to the law. 

Unfortunately, many of these shoplifting incidents are not prosecuted for  many different reasons. Ultimately, it is up to the business to decide whether to prosecute the shoplifter or not.  As a business owner, they have to consider the costs associated with prosecuting shoplifters as a rule and whether it is economically sound to do so.

A lawyer’s fee for an hour or to prosecute a case depends on the region, the experience and the complexity of a case but, either way, their fee does not come cheap. 

 As a business owner, is it practical or economically possible for you to have a privately retained attorney? Is it your business practice to prosecute a shoplifter regardless of the quantity they steal?  There are many questions one needs to answer, and many options you have to make as a business owner regarding shoplifting.

Shoplifting in the United States have become a multi billion nightmare for businesses in the retail industry.  From the casual shoplifter to organized retail rings, the losses the retail industry suffers are staggering.  The small stores or shops in this industry have to fight and stop loses because their livelihood depends on their ability to stop the shoplifters. The profit margin from sales is too small for them to ignore the problem or to neglected it for too long.

For many of the small retail businesses, a loss prevention system that allows them to protect their merchandise and profits is one of the best ways to invest in their business.  Big retail chains have for many years now invested in loss prevention systems to help them minimize the losses and help them prevent shoplifting and employee theft. 

A loss prevention system that gives the employer or management of the store up to the minute information about the merchandise , allows them to do their job more efficiently and helps them prevent theft is an investment that will pay off sooner than you think.

To Prosecute Or Not – The Ball’s In Your Court

Does it matter whether you prosecute shoplifters? There are some retailers that will not prosecute a shoplifter if they catch them. Many retailers discourage their employees from following someone outside to get a vehicle description or license plate number even if they know someone stole from the store. Then there are the retailers that will allow managers to approach someone who is suspected of shoplifting. What is the best approach to addressing theft? Have you thought about why or how you approach the issue of theft?x

Why would a retailer catch a shoplifter but then not prosecute them for the crime? There are several reasons a store owner may choose not to charge a shoplifter if they do catch them. 

  • When a shoplifter is caught and sent to jail or in some cases a citation to appear may be presented, the store manager or person who caught the shoplifter has to go to court. This can be a time-consuming prospect. There are jurisdictions where the person who filed a complaint or prosecuted a shoplifter will be prosecuted themselves if they fail to appear in court for a case. 
  • Some store owners will use the promise of not prosecuting a crook if the merchandise is returned. The owner is more interested in getting their product back than what happens to the thief.
  • There are managers who do not prosecute because they feel badly for the shoplifter. They believe that consideration of the person’s circumstances is an appropriate response to an offender. For example a person may say they shoplifted food because they are hungry or they stole clothes because they are homeless or needed them and could not afford to purchase them.
  • There are situations when a store manager takes age into consideration. The apprehended party may be (or claims to be) a juvenile giving an age that falls into that state’s age bracket for juveniles. The manager may feel they are doing a favor by not marring the youth’s future opportunities with a criminal record. A manager may also feel sympathy for an elderly person because of advanced age or possible mental deterioration.

Each of these decisions has some merit on their own. There is nothing wrong with feeling badly for a person or their circumstances. There can be some ramifications that result from releasing someone who has been caught shoplifting if you are not careful. 

     Consider what happens if you decide not to prosecute someone and they leave your store after you have detained them and they were to be injured. I am always especially cautious when the party is identified as a juvenile. Anytime you are dealing with a child you have to be careful. If you choose not to contact the police after stopping someone, even if you retrieve your merchandise what proof do you have that you recovered anything from that person? Is there a chance you could be falsely accused of unlawfully detaining that person? Even if you do recover merchandise and no issue transpires, without a police officer being present to hear you tell the person not to return there is no documentation of the incident. Nothing prevents that shoplifter from returning to your store again. 

     Catching and prosecuting shoplifters does carry its own risks and headaches. Sometimes there are just no easy solutions. One thing you have to be very cautious of is inconsistency. If you prosecute one person and not another person are you at risk of being sued for discrimination? Could someone say you gave preferential treatment based on age, race, gender or any other factor because it was learned you previously allowed a break to other people?

     If you are going to allow managers to stop people for shoplifting it is crucial that they have received quality training on how to do so safely and consistently. Be certain not to allow any behavior that would endanger your employees and do stress that they are allowed to make decisions based on how they feel about their own safety. If they believe a shopper is stealing but the person’s behavior is threatening or intimidating in some manner trust your managers to back off or if it is serious enough to contact police. 

     No one can tell you the best approach to dealing with shoplifters. Ultimately it is your decision to make. What I can say is that a store with a focus on customer service and a strong retail anti-theft strategy can deter the vast majority of shoplifting and eliminate the need for prosecuting shoplifters because they will leave the store empty-handed.  

Benefits of a Loss Prevention System

Most retailers in the United States end their fiscal year on December 31st. and begin the New year with a new budget, new goals, and new strategies to implement in their business.  

For the loss prevention team or management of the store, allocating sufficient funds to the prevention of shoplifting and security of their store begins anew.  If a store has not purchase a loss prevention system and the losses of the store are too many to ignore, the new year allows them to budget and purchase a system that will help them minimize their losses and prevent them from happening in the future.

Research has shown the budget for the prevention of shoplifting and loss prevention teams have been declining over the years with no plans to change it, while the problems associated with shoplifting, employee theft, internal clerical issues and lost merchandise continue to grow.  Every retail store has different problems associated with them, but shoplifting is a problem that is common for every one of them. 

Allocating enough funds to the prevention of theft in your store is vital. According to research purchasing a loss prevention system to help you minimize the losses in your store will return your investment within months. Reduction in merchandise losses, increase productivity, personnel reduction, and an increase in sales are some of the benefits associated with the purchase of a loss prevention system that will see more profits going to you.

Finding out what kind of loss prevention system your store requires will need the help of a seller that understands systems, training and prices. 

An EAS system can give the store an up to the minute understanding of what merchandise is in the store, what items have been sold, and what merchandise is missing. These systems can let you know up to the minute information about your store without having to do a physical count every time you need to know something about a specific item.  With an EAS or a point-of-sale (POS) system, information about the merchandise in your store is within your grasp within minutes.

Investing in technology that can help your management and loss prevention teams work effectively while minimizing cost will help your store succeed.  These systems not only offer help in deterring shoplifting but help you meet the needs of customers and their shopping habits.

Preventing shoplifting in your store with a loss prevention system is key to your success.

A Loss Prevention System To Start The New Year

Shrink in the retail industry is a  loss that many retailers seem unable to fight.  The budget to invest in security in the retail industry has declined over the years with no plans to restore it now or in the foreseeable future. Many of the small retailers believe that installing a loss prevention system will be too expensive for them to afford even though  they seem unable to stop the shoplifting that is causing their store major losses.

Loss prevention systems that allow these retailers to deter the shoplifting from happening in their stores are an investment they seem to ignore or to believe they are too expensive for them to even consider. The benefits associated with installing a loss prevention system in a retail store are numerous, and research has  shown the investment of purchasing such system can be recouped within a year.

Many retail stores do a physical inventory regularly that allows them to gauge the state of their store. Depending on the size of their business, this physical inventory should be done at the end of the month or quarter, and definitely one at the end of the year. For many retail stores, if an inventory is done after the holidays, it can offer a very shocking reality.  

The shoplifting, employee theft, vendor and clerical errors are seen clearly and painfully, and cannot offer an explanation or a solution to the tremendous losses in the store. A physical inventory is also a very expensive way to account for the merchandise in the store. The many hours and personnel required to do this kind of inventory are financially draining for many businesses and their bottom line.

If after the holidays your business has decided to purchase and install a loss prevention system that will allow you to deter the shoplifting and  employee theft in your store, there are a few key features such system should have to help you be successful.

  1. A software platform that allows the retail business a concise and up to the minute inventory analysis to make the necessary adjustments for their business.  
  2. EAS  solutions that are tied to an RF surveillance system that enables the loss prevention team to make decisions accurately and in a timely manner every day all year long
  3. A loss prevention system that will offer training to your employees and help you navigate solutions to your specific problems.

There are many loss prevention systems sellers that will help you find the financing available, give you the training, and the customer care you need to make the installation of the system a success.

Having doubts about buying and installing a loss prevention system in place is understandable and expected.  But, letting shoplifting, employee theft and other external factors influence the earnings you work hard to earn is not a sustainable solution. Contact us and talk to us, we will be happy to work with you.

Are You One Of the Retailers That Simply Let Shoplifters Win?

Why would you do that especially when stopping shoplifters is so very simple? Loss Prevention Systems has the proven two step solution. Sensormatic EAS and a shoplifting prevention program that is easy and affordable. Our Sensormatic systems generally pay for themselves in approximately 5.5 months! Come on, you cannot afford to not fix the problem. Shoplifters are a threat from the moment you open until you move the last customer out your doors.

Stopping shoplifters is really no different from fixing any other business problem we as company owners and Managers have to deal with. You attack it head on! For example, if you are a grocer would you just let a freezer fail when it has been giving you warning signs that it is going to go out? Losing a freezer full of perishables at the same time? No, you repair or replace it. Shoplifting prevention is the exact same thing. You have to give it the attention it needs and maintain the fix.

So what are these steps you need to take? First, let’s make sure that you understand that both steps must be implemented and maintained to stop shoplifters. Doing one all by itself will only give you a very temporary fix.

Purchase a Sensormatic Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) system and tag the merchandise that shoplifters are targeting. A Sensormatic system such as the Ultra is very cost effective and simple to use. The Sensormatic Ultra pedestals are located at your customer doors. Tags or labels are placed on your merchandise and, if a shoplifter tries to walk out with your protected merchandise, the system goes into alarm, alerting your staff. Loss Prevention Systems is a Nationwide Sensormatic Dealer and we specialize in medium to small retailers. We have the loss prevention expertise to put the right Sensormatic system into play for you based on your needs and budget.

Second, training! Not just how to use the Sensormatic system but actual shoplifting prevention training. How to identify a shoplifter before they even try to steal from you and what to do with them once you do identify them. Actually, shoplifters can be entertaining to deal with. You drive them crazy at the same time you are delighting your regular customers and they go away.

Loss Prevention Systems training programs go deep into the methods to deter shoplifters. And since you cannot be everywhere at one time, the Sensormatic system backs you up! Loss Prevention Systems LIVE training is available to you FREE of charge, as often as you reasonably need it, as long as you own your Sensormatic system.

On top of this, depending on the Sensormatic system you choose, Loss Prevention Systems offers many other features. We can remotely monitor your Sensormatic pedestals 24/7 for issues such as alarms, maintenance issues, power failure, the system being shut off and much more. We can provide you with customer counting and for the Retailer that is ready for RFID inventory control, your Sensormatic system is ready.  Loss Prevention Systems is the only Sensormatic Partner that has all of this expertise to fix your shoplifting problem and keep it fixed.

Contact Loss Prevention Systems today and get on the winning path against shoplifters. 


Keep Shoplifters From Stealing Your Holiday Spirit

It’s here! The holiday season and there is a spirit of goodwill that hopefully we all share towards each other. For retail owners and managers the joyful spirit is boosted when sales are good as customers are buying gifts and purchasing foods for baking and holiday meals. For the most part people seem to be a bit more patient towards each other (except maybe in a mall parking lot where drivers fight for the best parking places). It really is the most wonderful time of the year!

Unfortunately there are real Grinches out there who, for their own nefarious purposes have no compunction about committing crime that can steal your holiday spirit or that of your customers. These crooks create havoc for a store by stealing the hottest merchandise on the market or the most expensive merchandise. They may come in and take the latest video games off your shelf. They may be walking out in a new pair of sneakers or loading a couple of bottles of Grey Goose vodka under their coat at $70 a pop and waltzing out the doors. The impact is not isolated to the financial loss you experience from that particular item. The theft of your merchandise has a snowball effect that is magnified through the loss of additional sales.

I like to think of the impact of one shoplifter like the ripple effect of a rock tossed in a pond. The rock makes a splash that disturbs the water. The impact is immediate as the affect is seen with the splash. Then there are the waves that travel out from the point of impact. The water is disturbed far removed from the original landing point. When that shoplifter steals a video game you lose the $60 immediately. This is your cost plus the profit that you would have made. Now a customer comes in who wants to buy that game but it is gone and you lose a sale. You could make the argument you really have still lost only the $60 but wait a minute. You lost this sale and may have lost that paying customer from making future purchases at your store. This is the first ripple. Then no one on your staff notices that the empty spot for the game is there. They assume it was sold and wait for replenishment. How long does the store go before action is taken to replace the game? Now you have no idea how many other customers came in and did not bother to inquire about it because it wasn’t on the shelf? How generous is your return policy? Can the thief bring the game back unopened and get cash or a gift card? Now you are paying for the merchandise you already bought. You lose TWICE! The impact can be greater than even the confines of your store. Does the criminal trade it for illegal drugs and the drug dealer sells it online or to a mom and pop shop where you are undercut? That gift card may be sold online too by the way. In a sense one theft is supporting other illegal activities.

I don’t want to steal your holiday spirit but I do want you to understand that if you are not actively protecting merchandise from shoplifters they WILL steal your spirit and your merchandise. The sad part of this story to me is that many store owners could easily thwart shoplifters through a few relatively easy steps. First and foremost is a purchase of a Sensormatic security system. It is affordable! Too many owners look at it only as an expense and they don’t understand the benefits in shortage reduction. They work and they do significantly decrease theft in the store. The other step is to build a culture of customer service. We talk about it all of the time in retail but it has to be a genuine core principle in a store. Greeting customers as soon they walk into the building with a real hello is a start. Spending time finding out what they are in the store for is the way to sell and help accessorize purchases. The added bonus for the store is the deterrent effect that service has on shoplifting.

Retail crime does steal the joy from store owners and customers alike. The shopper is prevented from buying the special gift that a special person had their heart set on. The business owner is deprived of the merchandise and deals with the lingering effects of the crime. Take my advice protect merchandise with anti-theft devices, a Sensormatic security system and make customer service a priority in your store. You and your customers will truly feel the spirit of the season!


      

Can Technology End Shoplifting?

Shoplifting prevention has for many years been done with the help of technology.  From CCTV cameras that offer the loss prevention team clear pictures of the perpetrator, to radio frequency tags (RF tags) that are placed on high value items in the store and set alarm systems off if carried outside without paying. Now, stores can use facial recognition technology to help alleviate some of the shoplifting burden the loss prevention team faces every single day.

But, regardless of the technology a store uses, it is imperative for the owner or management of the store to inform their employees of the policies and procedures the store has in place regarding shoplifting.  Death, lawsuits and bodily harm has occurred to countless of employees because they do not know, or do not adhere to the policies the store has in place regarding on how to approach a suspected shoplifter.  Safety is paramount to the well being of employees, customers and the suspected shoplifter.

To read more about other topics about shoplifting, follow the links below.


Why hasn’t security technology put an end to shoplifting?

As the UK crime rate falls, there is one crime that is on the rise. Recent figures show that shoplifting has consistently grown by an annual 6% against a wider backdrop of reduced crime. This statistic is surprising considering the vast amount of time, money and effort that goes into developing anti-shoplifting technology. So why isn’t it working?

How does anti-shoplifting technology work?

The vast majority of retail stores are equipped with several high tech security measures. CCTV cameras are the most common. According to the College of Policing, CCTV is more effective as a method of gaining evidence to catch and convict a criminal than as a deterrent.

Many security camera providers provide monitoring services to ensure footage is captured and analysed as efficiently as possible. However, surveillance systems require careful planning; Banham Group, security experts with more than 90 years’ industry experience, advise that CCTV installation must include guidance, particularly on data protection laws and system legalities.


Loss Prevention Software and Data Analysis

The latest loss prevention software technology will help LP pros aggregate and analyze data into actionable information.

Data analysis is all about answering questions. To properly develop the questions, you must first identify your enterprise’s opportunities to increase profitability. Second, you need to identify the specific data needed to answer these questions. Finally, you must determine the tools and loss prevention software resources you can use to turn that data into actionable information to resolve the opportunities.

Develop the Questions. Increase in profitability is always the goal of any enterprise. Opportunities reside in breaking up organized retail crime (ORC) rings that are having a heavy impact on shrinkage and item availability across your business. Improving safety protocols to reduce internal and external injury claims would avoid payouts. Upgrading loss prevention software to improve workforce efficiency and productivity would result in reductions to labor cost centers. How do you resolve these opportunities? The specific questions can be limitless, but the answers are almost always contained in your data.


Manager loses job after video shows him choking woman

The manager of a west Charlotte beauty supply store has been terminated after cellphone video surfaced showing him kicking and choking a woman.

Sung Ho Lim was the manager of Missha Beauty. He said this all started when the woman in the video, who has not been identified, was confronted about stealing.

In the video, you can hear the woman tell Lim, “Check my bag. I don’t have anything.”

You then see the two shove each other, at which point Lim said, “You hit me.”

Moments later, Lim kicks the woman, knocks her to the ground and puts her in a choke hold. WBTV showed Lim the video, and he confirmed it is him, but he also said the part when she stole an item is not captured by this video.

“This is my fault,” Lim said. “I have to take the whole video and give it to the police.” Lim’s niece told WBTV that her uncle offered to quit his job, in the hope of taking a positive step to help the store.

He also agreed to meet the woman and apologize, but at last check, an initial meeting was delayed.

Employees told WBTV store surveillance video has been given to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.


Are You Ready To Catch A Shoplifter?

Big retail stores across the nation rely primarily in technology to prevent shoplifting according to industry analysts.  The physical loss prevention officers of long ago, are quickly being replaced by technology in the stores.  The interpretation and study of the data obtained fighting shoplifting and employee theft are invaluable during these times. 

While smaller stores rely on locking freezers to protect their merchandise, that is not feasible for most other stores. Smaller stores need to understand the problem, and find a  solution that is reasonable for them.

For more about this and other stories, follow the links below.


Retailer forced to use bike lock on chillers to prevent shoplifting

A Coventry convenience retailer has been forced to fit a bicycle chain lock on his chiller doors to prevent shoplifting after it cost him £12,000 last year.

Paul Cheema, owner of Malcolm’s Store, said as well as the bike lock, he had put bells on the chillers. He said the store had been targeted by gangs stealing large amounts of meat and cheese.

Speaking to Radio 4’s You and Yours, Cheema said: “One man took 32 packs of bacon and 20 packs of cheese. We put bicycle chains and doorbells on our fridges so every time a door opens an alarm sounds.”

He added that he was using social media to post pictures of suspects.


Eyes open: Catching shoplifters takes vigilance, prevention

When a retailer sees someone suspicious wandering the aisles, they can’t just call police.

Acting shady in a store isn’t illegal. Neither is putting an item in your pocket.

Under North Dakota law, an item must be taken past the last point of sale before it is considered stolen.

Jerry Cox, a regional manager for Valley Dairy in Grand Forks, said employees at their nine area convenience stores are trained to watch for shoplifters.

Often, he said, a shoplifter will pocket some items and purchase others. If an employee sees someone tuck something away between the aisles, they have to give the person every chance to pay. The clerk often will ask if there’s anything else they want.

“You have to assume they’re honest,” Cox said.


Using technology in today’s loss prevention career environment

“You don’t have to be an IT guy to understand cyber security, and it’s critical that you have enough of an understanding to know what questions to ask”

As an adjunct professor for AMU’s Center for Applied Learning, Dr. Robert Pittman imparts wisdom to next-generation loss prevention leaders, for whom he has the following warning—you can never “complete” your education. The world, risks, and business are always changing and loss prevention practitioners, and the loss prevention industry as a whole, must continually adapt. If not, individuals will find their career paths limited and the industry itself—just now gaining a seat at the management table—could be pushed to the background.

Today’s major retail operations are driven by technology, and entire supply chains rely on how effectively it is managed. Loss prevention practitioners need to have the skills to effectively navigate this tech-based environment if they want to advance their careers and help the LP industry thrive, Pittman believes. “Loss prevention used to be about focusing on the shoplifter in the store, but that’s completely changed. Those strictly physical security guys are quickly becoming extinct,” he said.