Just another Monday at my store. I get in and get settled, then make my rounds of the store. I like to speak with all of my employees for a minute or so, every day. I’m also walking for opportunities to improve the store’s presentation, and of course, indicators of theft. This usually takes about an hour, so by the time I’m done, the store manager is calling everyone up front for the morning sales meeting. As the LP manager, I’ll also address the store team on trends we’re seeing with external theft and ways they can help the store prevent shoplifting. I use this time to acknowledge a sales associate who may have assisted in a shoplifting case, or some other type of positive reinforcement. I find this really motivates them to make shoplifting awareness a part of their day. I have three LP agents on my team. The store has 100 team members. One hundred people can be in more places at once than three.
As our meeting drew to a close and we were readying the doors for business, one of the store team members told me that she had found a defeated Spider Wrap near the boiling pots. She handed me the device and it was clear that it had been snipped off of whatever product it was supposed to secure. I thanked our employee for bringing it to my attention and went to try to determine what happened. Thankfully, the area in which the tag was discovered was covered by a few CCTV cameras. I found where our employee discovered the anti-theft device and went backwards from there.
Even though I work for a rather large company, seeing a large theft that got away always makes me sick. I still get that feeling in the pit of my stomach, even though I’m not personally at a loss. I could only imagine how someone who owns their own store feels when the same thing happens to them. Recently, the store received a new fixture for GPS units. It was a secured cabinet with an area for display. The product, which was also secured with a Alpha Spider Wrap was behind a showcase under lock and key. The problem was that an employee was unfamiliar with the system. He sold a legitimate customer a unit and incorrectly set the locking device, leaving the showcase completely unsecured.
Thieves are often criminals of opportunity. If they see a chance, they will take it. This guy saw that my case was unlocked and completely emptied it out during a busy Saturday. I watched the CCTV in disgust as he took approximately $4500 in GPS units to a secluded section of the store, removed the anti-theft devices and placed them into a boiling pot, which he then brought up to the front of the store and paid for. There were employees all around, but no one paid any mind. I thought about what we could have done better and that’s when I realized that we had purchased the Alpha 2 Alarm version of the tags. If we would have gone with the Alpha 3 Alarm, those tags would have made an audible alert when they were compromised, alerting store personnel. That small difference could have meant the difference between that loss and a great recovery.
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