Listen To Your Instincts With To Stop Shoplifting
I got my inventory results for this past year, and they were a lot worse than I had expected. I just took over this location a few months ago, and I knew the controls were lacking before my arrival, but we missed our shrink budget by over $2,000. I figured out a couple of the worst categories, books and soda, were caused by vendor paperwork errors and those have since been corrected. I can at least look forward to a swell next year. However, we have had some significant thefts in the cosmetics section and of course, that was our worst category for shrink. We had figured out who was in the group that was hitting us and we had to create an action plan to stop shoplifting in that quadrant of the store.
We went through and adhered Checkpoint Labels to our entire stock of foundations and lipsticks over a period of two weeks. I saw the ring leader of the group enter the store about three weeks ago. At the time I didn’t know it was her, but something about her made me suspicious. I even had a feeling right then that she was our makeup thief. I watched her for a bit, and then I got called to the front checkout to assist with a customer. I hated to leave her unattended, but I have to put my paying customers first. I was able to watch her from the front and I could see she was picking up lipsticks and quickly replacing them. I knew right then those Checkpoint Labels were working and I knew that woman was our culprit. She was able to get to a spot where I couldn’t see her, and she stole some eyeliners and mascaras. She did not activate the alarm on the Checkpoint Systems because we had not tagged those items. I was able to verify the theft later via camera footage.
Then last week, exactly two weeks from the day I figured out who the thief was, I was working the evening shift. I was just about to leave to take the deposit to the bank, when someone down one of the aisles caught my eye. You guessed it! It was her. I smiled at her, went back to the front, and told my cashier to call the police. Then I went outside quickly to figure out where the getaway car was. I walked over behind the car and jotted down the license plate number. (There was a dude in the driver’s seat, glaring at me in the mirror! I seriously did not care at that point though. Enough was enough.) Then I went back inside and verified her position in the store. I walked past her and the only thing in her cart was her giant purse. I asked her if she needed help and she said she was fine. Then her phone rang. I walked back toward the front to see if the police had arrived and not long after that she came to the front. She approached me and loudly asked me why I went out and got information from the car. I calmly told her I did it in case she left before the police came; I wanted them to be able to find her. She was not pleased with my answer. In the cart she was pushing were several packages of name brand facial care items. (All that added up to over $400 retail) She left it all and stormed out the door. They pulled out of the parking lot, but were pulled over right afterward.
I would like to point out that all the stuff she had chosen to steal this time were all lacking Checkpoint Labels. Our “stop shoplifting” plan was working in cosmetics so she moved over to a different category. She knew she couldn’t defeat our Checkpoint Systems, so she was carefully choosing items that were not protected.
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