In addition to utilizing retail anti-theft devices like those from Alpha Security, you also need to keep up to date on current theft trends and other ways to help prevent shoplifting. You probably know that it’s a good idea to network with other stores, or at least other locations within your company if you have more than one location. Why is this important? It’s important because that’s exactly what the shoplifters are doing. If you spend a few minutes searching the internet for shoplifting related information, you will find that there are large communities of shoplifters that have no problem posting about ways to get away with shoplifting, ways to try to remove merchandise protection devices, what they have taken, where they have taken it, and even posting pictures of all the merchandise they have gotten away with from the stores.
One area of a particular website had detailed information, including references to websites that sell retail anti-theft devices, and tips on how to try to remove them from the products. When it came to some Alpha Security devices, they showed pictures of some of the devices on the products, but it didn’t seem like they had any idea to remove them from the merchandise without having the actual key. However, they did show pictures of the devices, and linked to websites that sold the Alpha Security products. Many of these shoplifters even brag about how good they are, but while browsing over some of the information, it appeared that they were very inexperienced, or were just plain making things up in an attempt to sound like they knew what they talking about.
Some of the tips listed in this particular shoplifter community could be very damaging to stores that don’t have a solid plan to prevent shoplifting and don’t use retail anti-theft devices. Some of the posts actually confirm that the people know what they are doing is illegal and serious, but they just don’t care. Another section of the blogs described how to disguise yourself and act like you are stealing, in order to get the attention of loss prevention employees, so you will know what they will look like next time you are in the store. There are then posts of people asking for information on the best places to steal a certain type of merchandise. For example, one person asked where they could steal a hair straightener, and they received a response from another user saying that they should go to a specific store, in which they know that there is only one employee working first thing in the morning and they are usually busy stocking merchandise and don’t pay any attention to customers.
If that wasn’t enough, some users post about getting caught and what the process is in the store, and what the procedures are for loss prevention during processing. Others even take it a step further and go into detail about the court process for shoplifting and exactly what steps were involved, and what they were sentenced to for the thefts they committed. I was completely shocked at some of the information that I saw while looking at some of these postings. I strongly suggest that you do your own research if you want to see what kinds of things shoplifters are talking about to try and get around what you are doing to prevent shoplifting in your stores.
For more information about Alpha Security, contact us or call 1.770.426.0547