In part 1 of this series I discussed the use of Loss Prevention Systems Inc. security products and other retail anti-theft devices to prevent shoplifting during the current national opioid crisis. Certainly these tools can and do prevent all shoplifting crime but the focus of my concern for this piece is the increase in criminal activity law enforcement officials are seeing due to opioid use. In part 1 I shared several articles addressing shoplifting and opioid use but there is another factor retailers need to think about in all of this and that is the safety of their employees and customers. As opioid users become desperate for money to feed their habit, shoplifting is just one of the crimes to which they are resorting. They are also robbing and assaulting people and this can bleed into retail stores.

  • From Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Dec 18, 2017 by Torsten Ove, “Drug-driven armed robberies prompt FBI to create violent crime task force in Alleghany, Beaver counties” the writer reports, “…the task force is an effort to address an increase in some communities of violent crime, especially bank holdups and store robberies.”  
  • From WPTV Dec. 15, 2017 by Sam Smink, “Panhandlers’ drug dealing/deaths led to 29 drug dealer arrests in West Palm Beach” This story revolves around a police investigation that led to 29 arrests. “Some of those panhandlers were actually dealing in addition to just using, so dealers connect to dealers to connect to dealers.” 
  • From Fox 9, December 29, 2017 “Charges: Minneapolis man robbed same market 5 times in 5 weeks” In this report the robber was using stolen money to purchase drugs. “He told police he would take the bus from northeast to downtown Minneapolis to buy heroin after the robberies.”   

The dangers posed by the users and sellers of opioids should be scary for store owners and managers. It is the best interest of store owners to do whatever they can to keep these people out of their stores. Using Loss Prevention Systems Inc. (LPSI) security retail anti-theft devices will discourage shoplifters who are looking for a place to steal from in order to support their drug habits.


This is a good time for me to clue in those readers who are scratching their heads about what I am talking when I mention retail anti-theft devices. These are tags, labels, wraps or boxes that have electronic article surveillance technology built into them. The device sends out a radio wave that can be picked up by a receiving tower often located near the interior doors of a store. When someone gets too close to the tower with protected merchandise an alarm and flashing lights are set off. You may have heard an alarm activation while shopping in a store equipped with such a system. When these towers sound anyone within sight of the doors looks to see who caused the alarm. Store employees hurry over and conduct receipt checks and determine the cause for the alert. The result is usually recovered merchandise or an embarrassed criminal who pays for the item to try to make it seem like an honest mistake. Make no mistake about it, those who shoplift on a regular basis know what an LPSI Security device or other anti-theft tag looks like and they will avoid those pieces of merchandise that are protected. They can also be deterred from trying to steal simply by seeing the towers at the front doors.


The impact that LPSI Security devices has on safety is that when criminals who are stealing to support a drug habit are avoiding detection they leave stores alone when they know that they could very well set off alarms. This is one of the many reasons Loss Prevention Systems Inc. actively supports the use of retail anti-theft devices in stores. They want stores to keep merchandise on the shelves for legitimate customers and to reduce shortage but they also want stores to be safe. Along with merchandise protection strategies they stress the importance of building and property security. Chief Executive Officer Bill Bregar understands that when customers feel safe they will shop at a store but when a parking lot is dark, panhandlers approach customers or people just hang around the outside of a building shoppers stay away. When the incentive to steal is removed or the risk of being caught is too great undesirable elements will go elsewhere to commit crimes.


Don’t allow your business to be attractive to shoplifters and especially those who are prone to violence to support an opioid habit. Use LPSI Security devices to prevent shoplifting and visit LPSI’s website for more tips on creating a safe and attractive environment where customers will come to spend money.


Security is important and we can help you with it. Call 1.770.426.0547 and let’s talk.



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