How Clothing Alarms Can Pinpoint A Shoplifter
Sometimes I don’t quite understand the thought process of a shoplifter. While most bug out pretty quickly once they realize they are being observed, I’ve encountered quite a few that will stick around and argue right up until police show up. This happened not too long ago and it had to be the most entertaining 30 minutes of my career. It all started with a shoplifter breaking off the Checkpoint Tags on some football jerseys and realizing he was about to get caught.
It was finally here. After several months of clearing land, building the four walls, stocking and merchandising, we were set to grand open another new store. It was a great time for the company I worked for. Retail sales in general were down, but we were experiencing tremendous growth. This would be our 20th new store opened this year. It was a beautiful store with an impeccable management staff. The team was well trained, the leadership was seasoned and the store looked as close to perfect as I had ever seen a new store look. Customers were lining up the night before to be first in line, and when 7am came around, there was a line 300 deep to get in! This was a new market for us, so as far as shrink, we didn’t quite know what to expect, and so we didn’t skimp on our clothing security tags in our apparel department. It was a good call as we would eventually find out as the months rolled by.
As the day wore on, the store never had down time it seemed. All 20 registers were open all day long with 5 customers deep at any given time. My LP team and I were monitoring the store, but there wasn’t much going on to our surprise. We took physical security measures seriously and our store was very customer friendly, but we also took the steps needed to secure our inventory. It wasn’t until midafternoon that it looked like we’d have our first bite. There, in the jersey section, there was a shoplifter breaking the clothing security tags from 5 jerseys, all worth $100 each. It was go time.
I had several new agents working the weekend along with some of my tenured staff. I figured this would be an easy stop, so I let one of the rookies take the lead. She was on the floor and we were communicating via walkie talkie. She was relaying his moves to me while I stood by the door awaiting his exit. My agent informed me that she had witnessed him break several more clothing alarms, and that he had concealed the shirts. It didn’t take long for our shoplifter to realize he was being watched by the new agent, so he removed the product from his pants and confronted her. She didn’t know what to do, so I intervened. I told this guy that he needed to leave the store for attempting to shoplift the product.
Here’s where it got pretty funny. He told me he didn’t have to go anywhere and he could stay in the store as long as he wanted. No problem. Five minutes later a Sherriff’s deputy arrived and found our shoplifter sitting in the middle of the walkway at the front of the store. Needless to say, he spent the weekend in jail.
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