This may not seem fair to some of you but I am going on one of my rants about the need for retailers to use Sensormatic tags on clothes. The target of this tirade is aimed at least in part to the retail shop owners who refuse to use anti-theft devices on all of their clothing. I’m angry because I read another story about another moronic shoplifter who decided to steal and attempted to get away from police leading them on a high speed chase. The chases are bad enough but when these criminals then cause accidents, injuries to others or damage the property of others I get really angry. And if anyone out there wants to argue that police shouldn’t be engaging in pursuits your argument in falling on deaf ears. The idea that Law Enforcement should just disengage if a criminal decides to try to get away is ridiculous. Would you feel the same way if someone broke into your home, stole valuables and police officers saw the suspect’s vehicle but chose not to chase them because when they turned on their lights the crook sped up? You would be livid. I digress. In a report on wlbt.com, February 8, 2019 by Morgan Howard and David Kenney, “Richland police arrest woman suspected of shoplifting after high speed chase into Jackson” the story says a woman had been spotted stealing two televisions from Walmart. Police attempted to stop her and she led them on a high speed chase and she ended up going off the road, driving through a yard and “crashing just inches from a house.” “So what does this have to do with clothing security?” you ask, “these were televisions”. Well it turned out televisions were not the only thing this criminal had in her vehicle the police also recovered a pair of jeans.
Would the use of Sensormatic tags have stopped this criminal suspect from stealing jeans and would that have had any bearing on the theft of televisions? I am going to say there is a strong likelihood that the incident would not have happened if Sensormatic tags had been used on all merchandise. I am specifically directing my remarks to the jeans because if they came from Walmart as did the televisions I know from my own shopping experience they do not tag their jeans. They DO use anti-theft devices on some televisions but I have personally prevented a shoplifting in one of their stores when a thief was going to try to roll out a television that did not have any protective device. From my years in Retail Loss Prevention I will say that in the vast majority of cases when my team or I caught shoplifters the merchandise had no clothing security tags or other type of security label. If someone did try to walk out with tagged product the electronic article surveillance alarm sounded and a supervisor or trained cashier responded and recovered the merchandise through a receipt check. When stores use tags and labels on all of their merchandise shoplifters shift their attention to stores that don’t use electronic article surveillance equipment.
“Okay, so you showed me one case of a shoplifter fleeing and wrecking their car but no one was injured, what’s the big deal?” Glad I could ask for you. It isn’t an isolated case, I have had shoplifters run from me, jump into their car and slam it into reverse and back all the way out of the parking lot to avoid me seeing their license plate. I have seen shoplifters nearly run into other cars. But if my personal experiences are not evidence enough, let me give you one more news report from keyt.com, “Sheriff Deputy injured as shoplifter flees scene”, May 15, 2018 by Ryder Christ. The story relates that a shoplifter who was trying to flee from police jumped out of his moving car and the vehicle hit “a Sheriff’s deputy on a motorcycle.” The officer was injured due to the recklessness of the thief but fortunately was able to be treated at the scene of the incident. Shoplifters can be extremely dangerous. Whether it is intentional or through stupidity they often put others at risk.
Store owners and managers, if you are not using clothing security and other anti-theft tools to stop this activity from taking place you are contributing to the problem. Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. can get you started in the right direction to put an end to this dangerous activity and make your store more profitable in the process. In Part 2 we will look at more dangerous shoplifting incidents and discuss what Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. can do to help you stop them from taking place in your buildings.
Get more information on Sensormatic Tags, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 today.