Trying To Bypass Checkpoint Systems And Other Stories Of Dishonest Employees: Part 1
One of my favorite things to do during my time as a Loss Prevention Manager was to conduct internal investigations. We might begin an investigation based on exception reports we received, watching video that corresponded to the report. Some investigations originated from employee tips, alerting us to suspicious actions on the part of a fellow team member. Other investigations began with good old fashioned camera surveillance for no particular reason than what is called a gut feeling. During these employee investigations I saw all types of activity that solidified my cases, for example; deactivation of Checkpoint Tags on clothes at the point of sale when no one else was around. Ringing merchandise for a friend and removing security devices, then voiding the items so the friend could bypass the Checkpoint Security Systems in the store. Special offers of gift cards with purchases were good times to watch cashiers who would “forget” to give a customer a gift card they were supposed to have received and then the cashier kept the gift card themselves. Getting the dishonest employee to admit to their crime could be difficult and that was where a detailed investigation became critical. A good investigation meant that whether an employee confessed to the crime or not, there was enough evidence to successfully prosecute them anyways. Then there were the cases where an admission was either easy or funny to obtain. In the next two articles I would like to share a few of my favorite cases.
Before I continue with my story, I want to quickly explain what Checkpoint Tags are for those who may not be familiar with them. Checkpoint tags are small, electronic article surveillance (EAS) sensitive stickers that can be applied to almost any type of merchandise. In our stores we often applied them to a wide range of merchandise, from clothing to music CD’s. The tags are made to be set to a specific radio frequency (RF) and when brought into range of EAS antennas, set off the alarm built into the antennas. The tags are deactivated when passed over a deactivation pad at the point of sale and cannot be reset. Checkpoint Security Systems carry a wide variety of EAS antennas, deactivation pads, tags and labels as well as accessories such as detachment keys.
Returning to my favorite cases, in one of my investigations I had two young ladies who were cashiers and had been ringing merchandise for each other, deactivating Checkpoint Tags on clothing, bedding, and other merchandise, then voiding items from the transactions and giving the merchandise to each other anyways as if purchased. This activity went on for several weeks while I investigated to see how deep the activity went. When I finally had enough evidence, I went through my protocols, then pulled both employees at the same time and placed them in separate rooms for interviews. I had manager witnesses in each room, so I was able to walk back and forth between the rooms to talk to the young ladies. Initially neither was quick to confess to anything until one admitted to a small item her friend had “passed” to her. Well, once that started I had my opening and took the information to the other suspect and told her that her “friend” had admitted to a little of the theft, but said the other one had done most of the stealing. That did not sit well with friend number two who then turned on her former partner in crime and spilled all the beans. I continued going back and forth between the rooms, as the admissions and accusations flew. Eventually I had full admissions with a little bit I had not known about previously. Watching the two friends/thieves turn on each other was, admittedly, a somewhat humorous ending to this case. I never learned if they at least got to share a cell together in the local jail.
The fact that my two employees recognized the need to deactivate merchandise before trying to pass it confirmed for me that Checkpoint Security Systems do deter theft and make it more difficult for employees to steal from their place of business.
Get more information on Checkpoint Security Systems, contact us or call 1.770.426.0547 today.