Drug Addiction, Shoplifting And How Sensormatic Labels Can Make A Store Less Vulnerable
I just watched a recorded webinar about opioid use in libraries and as I often do I found it applicable to retail businesses and the use of Sensormatic labels. Having been a Retail Loss Prevention Manager I have dealt with shoplifters and criminals who have been high on drugs. Drug use and the impact it has on society is an unfortunate problem overall but it is a real concern for retailers. I have been able to stop shoplifting by those who were high on crack cocaine, marijuana and I have even caught suspected methamphetamine users. The webinar I watched on the topic referenced how the users of these drugs become addicted and need more of the substances to maintain the same level of high. The speaker referenced how many of these addicts will resort to theft to feed the addiction and that can include car break-ins, house break-ins, robbery and shoplifting. He also spoke about libraries being a place these addicts will go to in order to shoot up, using the restrooms as a secluded location for their activity.
Clearly retailers have to be aware that if libraries are chosen because addicts feel they can blend in with the public and be out of the view of police, then stores can be chosen for the same reason. One concern noted in the webinar is the dropped needles and paraphernalia from the drug user. Some of the ingredients are potentially dangerous if they just touch the skin, such as fentanyl. The problem is potentially worse for retailers due to the fact that the addict may try to steal while they are in the store. Now you have the dangers associated with the abuser’s needles and such plus the increased chance of shoplifting. The use of Sensormatic labels to protect merchandise becomes that much more important.
Aside from the problem of how to stop shoplifting and the drug use in your store you also have to be careful about what is happening outside your store. Is the exterior of your building inviting to the drug user? I have driven around the back of some stores and they are stacked with clutter, old fixtures, broken pallets and dumpsters. They are not well lit and they are inviting to people who don’t want to be seen. This can be the dealing of drugs, the use of drugs or even waiting for someone to pass by so they can rob them. Dark parking lots with lights that are burned out are also an invitation to criminals who are looking to break into vehicles. Add to all of this panhandlers who are not banned from store property because store owners feel badly for them. I’m not trying to be harsh, I feel sympathy for those who are struggling but as a Loss Prevention Manager I also saw the discomfort and concern when shoppers trying to come in or leave my store were approached by strangers. Often it was clear that a panhandler was an addict looking for some quick money.
Drug abusers may also pose a physical danger to your employees and customers. As the speaker on the webinar was talking about the problems of the drugs, he also pointed out how they affect the users. In some instances they are lethargic and when using opioids with fentanyl they can go into a fentanyl coma. He mentioned that it is when these abusers are shaken out of their comas, as is the case when Narcam is used, they can become violent and irrational. I can also say from first-hand experience that some drug abusers on crack or methamphetamine can be violent and will fight when confronted.
So where do Sensormatic labels and systems fit into all of this? The narcotics abuser and even an alcoholic who is financially strapped but has an addiction to feed will often turn to shoplifting. They certainly do not want to be caught because that is going to impede their ability to get the next fix. That results in one of two things they risk stealing from a store where electronic article surveillance is used to stop shoplifting, significantly increasing the chance of being caught. Two, they go to stores where electronic article surveillance is not used and they face minimal risk of being caught.
Don’t allow your store to be an inviting location for thieves and especially drug addicts. Make your products less appealing and harder to steal by setting up a Sensormatic security system and placing Sensormatic labels on all of your merchandise. You will make your building safer and reduce shortage at the same time.
Need information on how to stop shoplifting? Give us a call at 1.866.914.2567 now.