My Favorite Cases When I Would Stop Shoplifting – Part 3
This is part three and the final segment on my favorite cases from when I would stop shoplifting. As a Retail Loss Prevention Officer or Manager we encounter many scary, funny and odd cases. In this installment I want to share my scariest shoplifting moments and remind readers why care must be taken when you stop shoplifters.
7. The department store where I started out my career did not use a Sensormatic security system but we did use a similar anti-theft system. Some but not all of our clothing products were tagged to prevent theft. In this particular incident a female shoplifter stuffed a purse full of clothing and started to exit the building and the alarm sounded. I stopped her and she ran back in the store threw the merchandise all over the place then ran back out. I chased her but she was very overweight and ran out of energy so she stopped, put her hand in her purse and told me I had better leave her alone. The implication was clear she was suggesting she had a gun or weapon in her purse. The police arrived a minute or two later. She was arrested and charged with shoplifting. I was a bit shocked when I learned that she had a lengthy arrest record that included an “Involuntary Manslaughter” charge. Yes, I did stop shoplifting and probably helped put a dangerous person in jail but it did give me pause to think the next time I watched a suspect.
8. I remember my first shoplifting case with my second company. I was in training at another store in a metro market. The Loss Prevention Officers followed a pair of suspects out of the store who had loaded an outdoor trash canister with multipliers and knives. The Sensormatic security system alarmed as the suspects walked through the towers. I happened to be outside when the alarm activated. Though I had a number of years of experience I stayed back a bit in a support role and monitored the team as they made the stop. One of the suspects quickly put his hand in his jacket pocket and pepper sprayed but not the Loss Prevention Officers who stopped him, he got ME! I had experienced CS gas in the military so this was not unbearable and I chased him but he sprayed me two more times and I could not see any more. I had to hide between several parked cars to ensure I did not get run over. Someone got the suspect’s license plate number and a year later I was subpoenaed to his hearing. It turned out he had a laundry list of prior convictions for all sorts of crimes.
9. This is not the most memorable case but it is near the top of my dangerous shoplifting cases and certainly in my personal top 9 or 10 list. In this case a thief had been in the store early in the day and I suspected stole a purse and activated the Sensormatic security system towers but I could not make a stop. I had not seen the selection. Later that night the suspect returned and did the same thing but this time I was ready. I stopped him and he returned to the store but after a brief struggle with me pulled out of his coat. I grabbed our purse and one he carried into the store. I lost him in a foot chase but when I returned to the store I had a surprise. I had tossed the purses to a manager and when I looked in his I found his prison release identification card but more concerning was a butcher knife he had hidden in it! The suspect was later picked up on another charge and the outstanding shoplifting warrant.
10. This is short but it tops the most dangerous shoplifter cases I encountered. I had a guy I observed stealing from our store. I followed all of the steps required to apprehend a shoplifter and as he approached the exit doors I identified myself and told him he needed to come back in and talk to me about the item he had taken. The suspect lifted the front of his t-shirt and exposed the handle of a handgun. I backed away to disengage and went back in the store to call the police. No apprehension and no recovery but I walked away intact.
Not every shoplifter is dangerous and with common sense, a Sensormatic security system and training on how to stop shoplifting offered by Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. you will reduce your exposure to theft and fraud. That means you increase profits while keeping you and your employees safe.
Get more information on how to stop shoplifting, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 today.