I love a good shoplifting story. So does my wife, family, friends, co-workers… (You get the idea). I love the loss prevention field. There is nothing more exciting than this and I don’t see myself anywhere else. At least not in the foreseeable future. Like I tell my boss, I’m only one lottery ticket away from quitting! There’s always something, somewhere that is just hilarious and it usually involves someone stealing, or trying to steal something. While I wish I could prevent shoplifting altogether, if I did, life wouldn’t be as entertaining.
It wasn’t too long ago that I was investigating the loss of several high end, personal video cameras. You know the ones; tiny, portable and can record underwater, or while you jump out of an airplane. My stores in this one market had been seeing an high number of thefts with this unit, even though they were secured to the display fixture with a cable and lock. After watching several videos of the ring of thieves, it was clear that our small cable was not match for their pliers. We began using Alpha Spider Wraps to help prevent and deter the thieves. It did, for a while.
After a few weeks, we started to see theft again. I figured that the thieves had figured out a way to defeat the Spider Wrap. After doing a little digging, I was able to see the same group of thieves. This time, they were back with a vengeance. After snipping off the cable, they simply grabbed a handful of the cameras and walked out. They were using the Spider Wrap as a handle!! They were targeting my stores during peak hours and it seemed like they operated with impunity as they would stroll out the front door with product in hand. Before anyone could react to the EAS tower, they would disappear into the parking lot.
That’s not the funny part either. It is if you think about it though. Imagine a thief holding several cameras by the security tags as he strolls out the door. It was like it made it even easier for him to carry more than two. The funny part came a few weeks later. I received a phone call from a local detective. He was assigned to the pawn shops in the parish and noticed that one individual was pawning these cameras seemingly once or twice a week. Pawn shops must record and report all pawns in most states, if you didn’t know. He provided me with some serial numbers, and I was able to determine that they had been stolen from my store. He asked if I wanted to come with him to the pawn shop to recover the stolen property.
Normally, a pawn shop has to hold the merchandise for 30 days in order to clear the item through any stolen database. A reputable pawn broker will be able identify stolen goods. The not-so-reputable ones will turn a blind eye and accept the product anyway, regardless of the manner in which it made its way into their store. When I arrived with the detective, I was surprised to see that the cameras were still secured with the Spider Wraps!! The pawn broker explained that those were his tags, but he couldn’t produce a device to properly remove them. Not only did I get my merchandise back and make an arrest, I got another great story to tell.
For more information, contact us: Prevent Shoplifting, or call 1.770.426.0547