My Favorite Cases When I Would Stop Shoplifting – Part 2
In Part 1 about my favorite exploits when I worked to stop shoplifting I shared three of my favorite cases but honestly that doesn’t scratch the surface. I had a lot of experiences but like many of my peers there are always those apprehensions that make such an impression they just stay with you. Even when the store uses a Sensormatic security system or other anti-theft system there are always people who are going to try steal from a store and many of the cases involved people trying to get around those systems or security tags.
In continuing my top list I pick up where I left off with number four in my personal favorite shoplifting incidents.
4. Usually any case involving an accusation that race somehow played a part in the apprehension of a shoplifter is concerning. I did have one case where the accusation was laughable. I stopped a young man for stealing a ball cap. It was not protected with a clothing security tag so it was not going to set off a Sensormatic security system tower or any electronic articles surveillance system. Fortunately, in this case I had already been watching him so I was able to stop him and get the merchandise back. The suspect returned to the security office with me and was cooperative until I asked him to empty his pockets and a small bag of marijuana came out with other assorted odds and ends and a pocket knife. At that point he got somewhat belligerent and accused me of stopping him in his words, “Because I am white!” I couldn’t help but laugh, I am caucasion too! He still went to jail for shoplifting and simple possession.
5. Speaking of shoplifters and drugs I had another drug related case that is in my top favorites list. I had a rash of bicycle thefts from our store and had to find a way to stop shoplifting in that department. I had my Loss Prevention team focus all of our attention on that particular area. It didn’t take many days of surveillance before one of my Loss Prevention Associates observed a “shopper” enter the area. He selected a bicycle and walked it all the way to the front of the store then parked it near the shopping carts. We watched our suspect walk around until he felt it was clear then went back and retrieved the merchandise and rolled it to the doors. As he walked it to the electronic article surveillance towers we apprehended our crook. As we neared the security office the suspect decide to fight with us. We eventually got him under control when he suddenly started to have a “seizure”. I am not a medical expert but the drooling and attempt to roll around was not convincing. I told the suspect that I would call an ambulance for him (as I continued to sit on him) but let him know he would be charged $500.00 for the ambulance ride. My suspect made a miraculous recovery and we were able to turn him over to the police for further processing.
6. Theft cases where drugs are involved are not always the safest but they can wind up with a funny ending. In one incident a suspect was stealing clothing. I stopped him at the exit doors and he decided to bolt on me. We ran several blocks until he sat down on the steps of a pancake house and said he was giving up. I stood over him waiting for the police to arrive. While we were waiting he asked if he could get rid of a scale he had in his pocket (for those who may not know, drug dealers use small scales to weigh out drugs they are selling, in this case marijuana). I said that was fine with me. He tossed it under a newspaper vending machine. When the police arrived I made a point of telling them that the suspect had hidden the scale. The crook had a shocked look and said he thought I said he could hide it. I reminded him I DID allow him to get rid of it I never promised him I wouldn’t tell the police about it. Not only did I stop shoplifting I helped to get a drug dealer off the street and I still laugh at the whole incident.
Not every shoplifter is deterred by a Sensormatic security system or anti-theft device. In many cases these shoplifters are involved in other criminal activity such as the use or distribution of drugs. As I mentioned they can be dangerous and I have had my share of such incidents but these are the cases that ended with a certain amount of humor and the only thing hurt were some feelings.
A Sensormatic security system is important and we can help you with it. Call 1.866.914.2567 and let’s talk.