Organized retail crime (ORC) has been a major problem for retailers for decades. The FBI estimates that ORC causes retailers to lose 30 billion dollars every year. A booster is a thief who steals at the store level and usually has a specific list of items to steal. Popular items are razor blades, baby formula, DVDs, Tide detergent, health and beauty items and many other products. Once the booster has stolen the merchandise, it is taken “up the chain” to the crime ring leader. These crime rings will move from city to city and are usually well organized. This merchandise is resold at flea markets, gas stations, on Facebook and many other ways. While this may sound grim, there is a way to stop prevent shoplifting and protect your merchandise.
Alpha spider wraps come in different sizes and are a great way to help prevent shoplifting. They can go on just about any merchandise and can be tightened to ensure a secure fit that keeps them from being taken off without a key. They are very difficult to remove and have an alarm that will go off if they are taken through the entrance or exit of a store.
I put Alpha spider wraps to the test when I had several of my stores that were being targeted by boosters. DVDs, razor blades and electric toothbrushes were disappearing at an alarming frequency. We suspected it was the work of the same ORC group because similar items were stolen from 3 stores in the area. After coming in one morning for work and finding that all of the electric toothbrushes and many of the razors had been taken the night before, I immediately ordered small, medium and large Alpha spider wraps. I also started reviewing and documenting the thefts from the CCTV cameras and making copies to turn over to law enforcement. I was able to get a good picture of the three individuals involved in the thefts and showed the pictures to all of my store managers.
Several days later, my order of Alpha Spider Wraps arrived and I started putting them on my merchandise. I called a meeting for all of store management and explained the problem about the boosters in the area. I showed them how to remove the wraps at checkout and how they would alarm at the door if not removed at a check stand. According to the CCTV footage, the boosters were coming in first thing in the morning between 6 and 7 am, before most of the store’s employees arrived for their shifts. I decided to come each day around 5 am and wait. On my third morning, I hit the jackpot. The boosters arrived with their backpacks and walked right over to the electric toothbrushes. I immediately called the police and notified the store manager who, thankfully, had just arrived. One of the boosters started using a pocketknife to try and remove the wraps but was unable to cut through the steel cable. They went over to different aisles looking for the items on their list to steal but were dismayed to find the merchandise protected with spider wraps or Alpha keepers. Thankfully, they were in the store long enough for the police to arrive and were arrested after being identified as the thieves from earlier CCTV recordings.
One of the best ways to prevent shoplifting is to protect your merchandise. Thieves are less likely to steal things that are harder to gain access to and will move on to easier targets. Whatever the merchandise is in your store, there is a way to protect it.
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