We are finally getting a break from the storm of shoplifting that has been occurring at several of our area stores. First of all, we got a positive identification of one guy from the local police. When we contacted the man, he actually agreed to come in for an interview in exchange for us not pressing charges. He came and talked with us, and gave up several addresses and other details of other offenders. Our area has been inundated with boosters because of our stores’ proximity to a large local flea market. Even with our use of Checkpoint Systems, and many Alpha security tools, they have been finding ways around it all. One group has been emptying entire sections of expensive toothpastes, body washes, and deodorants, even those all these items have EAS tags on the packages in plain sight. The guy mentioned above has been seen regularly with another lady, but their “shopping list” seemed to always be the bigger expensive stuff, like hair regrowth formulas and electric toothbrushes. In order to stop shoplifting, we have to get to the root of the problem, which is the buyer of the stolen merchandise, and we had a feeling they were all working for the same one.
Late this week one store manager recognized a woman she had suspected of stealing on a previous day. She watched her conceal some deodorants in her large purse and then went and waited at the front door for her to attempt to leave. As she came up to the exit, the store manager told her to dump her bag out and give back the deodorants immediately or she would have her arrested. The woman complied and dumped her purse out and emptied it right there in the middle of the sales floor, before jetting out the door. (She also had air fresheners, toothpaste, and batteries from another store or two in there. None of it had any type of EAS tags, or other identifiers attached) The manager called the other three stores in the surrounding counties and gave them some detailed descriptions. Plus she called the police so they could get out a BOLO. The woman actually did go right to one of the stores the other manager had alerted, and the police nabbed her and the getaway driver.
We were out on the road scoping out these addresses when we got the call that she had been caught, so we went to talk to her. She was terribly impaired at the time, and could barely keep her eyes open or concentrate. She was upset though, because this was going to be her final strike if she went back to court for shoplifting. We decided it was time to make another deal; tell us names and details, and we can work on those charges. First of all, we asked why she and her cohorts were specifically targeting our stores. She said it was because we have all the items on their lists. (We work for a small retail pharmacy.) She said they had actually been warned several times to stay away from us because we have Checkpoint Systems, and they are hard to defeat. Plus, we have all diligently trained our staff on methods to stop shoplifting, like adhering EAS tags right on the fronts of packages. (This is so when they pull the tag off, it will leave a mark and make the package harder to resell!) But the draw of getting their lists completed at one or two stores instead of traveling all over was too great. I guess even a thief has to put gas in their car. I can also venture to guess that the faster she got back with the desired items, the faster she could get paid and go buy the drugs she was desperate for, or that drugs were possibly her payment.
We can stop all the boosters we can get our hands on, but they will all eventually be replaced by more. The way to stop shoplifting is to get to the head of the operation, and stop the buyer. This is our ultimate goal.
For more ways to stop shoplifting contact us: 1.770.426.0547 or Antishoplifting.net