As I sit here in my hotel room this evening, I’m replaying today over in my head. I’m out training a new LP associate at one of our hottest markets. My new associate has a ton of experience in this field, but I could see he was getting very frustrated today. His job, his sole purpose on my team is to stop shoplifting. Just like any great LP associate, I want him to make apprehensions and throw people in jail. That’s the only way the criminals will learn. Kicking them out and getting your product back just doesn’t work. A few nights in jail every time they come to my stores and you can bet that they’re going to move on to a softer target.
As my new associate and I are walking the floor, I try to impart some of my wisdom to him. Little tricks that I’ve picked up over the years to help me identify shoplifters and pointing out all the different items that are secured with Checkpoint hard tags. He knows most of these, so I’m just making small talk as we await a thief. I think this is one of the only jobs on the planet where, in order to fully train someone, someone else has to break the law. Hours are passing and the store is just plain slow. I’m getting bored; so is he. Then, bingo.
As we walk past the shoe department, we noticed a female suspect with a box of infant shoes in her hands. She’s walking towards the front of the aisle and without trying to conceal her actions, she is very visibly attempting to pry off the Checkpoint hard tag that is securing the shoe. I point this out to him, but he’s already on top of it. He picks up surveillance and we watch as this suspect, for several minutes, attempts to defeat the tag. After 20 or so minutes, she gives up, sets the shoes down and leaves the store. The tag did its job and stopped shoplifting, but we were left without an apprehension.
As a few more hours sail by, it is becoming quite evident that today just isn’t our day. There are several more potential shoplifters, but for some reason, they either “dump” the merchandise, or lose their nerves. As we were starting to give up hope that we’d make a stop, we see a very obvious user of methamphetamine enter the store. This has to be a go!
We start surveillance and she the suspect immediately grabs 5 shirts, toss them into her shopping cart and begin walking towards the back of the store. She paid no mind to size so I was definitely confident we’d make our first apprehension. Once in a secluded corner of the store, she begins to stuff the shirts into her purse, but quickly realizes that the shirts are secured with Checkpoint hard tags. We watch again as the shoplifter tries ever so desperately to remove the tags. She can’t. She gets frustrated. She leaves without stealing.
While I was frustrated and a bit disappointed in our first day of training, I was however, pleased to see that our physical security measures were working to stop shoplifting in the store. Still, a shoplifter arrest would’ve been fantastic. Tomorrow is another day and with it will bring another stream of shoplifters into my store. Hopefully we will have a bit more luck and get the great pleasure of throwing someone in the county jail tomorrow.
For more information about Checkpoint Tags, contact us or call 1.770.426.0547