Most stores have a logbook of all packages sent using a traceable mail service. The most common reason for a store to send out a traceable package is when merchandise is returned to a vendor due to damage, recall, or other vendor initiated buy back. Having a tracking system on these packages insures that the stores know where their merchandise is in transit, and there is a third party accountable for the package’s arrival. Upon arrival at the vendor’s destination, the vendor will take accountability of the merchandise and give the store back its appropriate credits.
For stores that do a larger quantity of packages sent to multiple vendors, there is an increased chance that an employee will use this mailing system to send out stolen merchandise to their own house or to a friend or family’s address. Stores that do not send out packages frequently are not at as much risk. The reason being it is much more obvious if a tracking number has been used when a store only uses one or two a month. Compared to a store that uses tens or maybe even a hundred packages sends in a month, an extra package can be slipped into a pile with much less risk of obvious detection.
Here is how an employee can take advantage of a logbook to help facilitate their employee theft. Any time an employee is trying to steal merchandise from their store, they must find a way to get it out of the building. Some employees try to conceal the merchandise in a bag or purse and walk it right out the front door. Others will conceal the product in another purchase, much like a shoplifter’s box stuff method. Some decide that the path of least resistance is through the back door.
When an employee has access to the logbook, they have access to the peel and stick labels provided by the mail carrier, that gives the store their tracking number for the package. Since these log books are designed to be billed only when a number is used, the store will receive a group bill for all of the numbers used during that month.
An employee who mails out their own package does not have to worry about individual shipping charges, and can slip a package in with the regular outgoing packages.
There are two ways to self-audit this process to reduce the risk of employee theft. The first is to spot check packages and corresponding paper work on a daily or weekly basis. This provides a fear that employees who are trying to send their own package can potentially be caught at any point due to an unexpected audit.
The second way is to audit the actual logbook. In the logbook, the “send to” address should be notated. If one is left off, that should send up a red flag that that package needs to be investigated further. If the package is being sent to a residential address, an investigation should be conducted. If the address is an employee’s home address, the employee most definitely needs to have an employee theft investigation opened on them.
By shipping a package of stolen merchandise directly to the employee’s home address, the employee can easily bypass EAS alarms, bag checks, and having to physically carry the product out of the store. If no one audits the logbooks to find out where packages are being mailed to, employees can easily create multiple thefts without being detected.
For more information on employee theft, employee theft investigation or internal theft contact us or call 1.770.426.0547 – Atlanta Georgia
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