Did you know you can take an online shoplifting course for a mere $50? That is a terrifying thought for a retail manager. Actually, when I clicked on it (yes, I really did), it was a course for a person that has been caught shoplifting to take, so they can ask a judge for leniency on their court date. It’s like a psychological breakdown to help someone understand their crime, how it effects their social circle and community, and is supposed to help them stop shoplifting. There are some boosters I would like to see sentenced to take this class, over and over again, at least until they see how crazy they make me when they come steal from our store over and over. When businesses invest their time and money into anti-shoplifting devices like Checkpoint Tags, they can see the return in their inventory numbers and profit.
So just yesterday I had yet another visit from my newest foe. Not even two weeks ago, she came in a managed to remove the Alpha Spider Wraps and Checkpoint Tags from some boxes of hair regrowth formulas. She was in a totally different vehicle, wore her hair down instead of up, and this time she did not come in alone. I saw them come in separately and something told me she looked familiar, but I just couldn’t put it together. They hung out in the health and beauty aisles, and since I had been having problems over there with theft, I kept my eye on them. I even went to our small greeting card section and watched them where they could not see me. I watched them a bit longer, and decided they were not a threat. The guy was walking really slow, almost shuffling and I second guessed myself so I walked away. Even though I know better than to ever judge someone by their appearance, I let my guard down. I walked over to that section of the store to stock a random item and found discarded Checkpoint Tags from yet another hair regrowth item plus an expensive electric toothbrush as well.
When I reviewed the video the couple watched me the whole time I was watching them. When they saw me walk to the back room, they made their moves. The woman obviously does not want to take the chance of getting caught having her bag lined with foil to defeat our system. Being caught with a “booster bag” in our state is a felony. What she doesn’t seem to realize is that removing anti-shoplifting tools from a product is also a felony.
I can’t blame the Checkpoint Tags for not doing their job. In this case, I have to blame myself. I knew she would come back since she had been successful the first time she came in. I should have taken proactive measures to protect my inventory. Becoming reactive to theft is a big mistake many retailers make. One neat trick I occasionally use that really puts a damper on a booster is to wrap clear packing tape around the item. It not only prevents the thief from removing the tag, but it also renders the product useless to them. The whole point of these “foot soldiers” of organized retail crime is for them to get product for their buyer to resell. The buyer will then pay these people pennies on the dollar of the actual value of the stolen merchandise and make a huge profit for themselves. But neither wants the packaging damaged, or they know their chances of selling it will go down considerably.
You just have to remember that as technology advances, the thieves will keep up with it and change their methods. Sometimes you may have to go old school and get creative to beat them, or at least discourage them from coming back to your store. Checkpoint Tags will always be a true and tested theft deterrent against petty theft and basic shoplifters. Boosters are a different breed and they have to be treated as such. For them you have to add a little extra effort and make their jobs harder so they go steal from your competition instead!
For more information on Checkpoint Tags contact us at 1.770.426.0547 or Antishoplifting.net