Why Allow Wallets To Walk Away? Tighten Up Security On Accessories With Alpha Cable Locks
Work in Retail Loss Prevention long enough and you end up with those situations that make you just shake your head and ask yourself, “Did that really just happen?” I had a moment like that when I started off as a department store Loss Prevention Officer. I was in our security office watching our sales floor via a closed circuit television system. One of our top theft departments was handbags and wallets. In order to prevent shoplifting of the highest priced purses, we kept them in lock-up showcases. Everything else was open-sell and protected with electronic article surveillance (EAS) tags, employee customer service and cameras. We did not have the retail anti-theft devices available to us that are on the market today that are available through Alpha Security, such as the Alpha cable lock.
Before I continue my story, everyone knows what a lock-up display case is, however not everyone is as familiar with the Alpha cable lock. The cable lock is made up of a tough, thin, steel cable, connected to an EAS sensitive, housing. The casing or shell has a flashing LED light that makes a visual deterrent to prevent shoplifting by drawing the thief’s attention to the retail anti-theft device. Locks are also tamper proof and will sound a high pitched alarm if someone attempts to cut the cable. Since they are EAS sensitive, if a piece of merchandise with a lock on it is carried too close to EAS antennas the antenna alarm will activate and warn employees of a possible theft attempt. Once alerted, employees can respond to the alarm activation and determine the cause of the alarm or the alarm may cause a crook to drop merchandise and run. I have seen numerous recoveries of merchandise over the years due to EAS alarm activations and proper employee response or merchandise abandoned by would-be shoplifters.
Continuing with my, “Did that really just happen?” story, I was in the camera room monitoring the CCTV system and received a call from a store associate alerting me to a male subject in the handbag department. I asked the associate to give customer service and I would watch on camera. The subject was picking up purses, and wallets, looking at them and then putting them back. I confess I was starting to think this was just a guy gift shopping for someone and I became somewhat less concerned of a possible theft attempt. The sales associate approached the man and offered to assist him. The next thing I knew, the “customer” picked up a very expensive wallet, grinned at the sales associate and ran out of the store. I had never seen a shoplifter take a moment to grin before running off and I had to recover from my momentary shock. I did run after the man and eventually caught him and got the wallet back (disclaimer: don’t do this at home, we did not have restrictions on us way back then preventing the pursuit of shoplifters). A little happily ever after moment, that sales associate was my wife and even today, nearly 25 years later, she reminds me that she never trusted the man and I should have taken her call more seriously. SIGH!
I firmly believe that if we had Alpha Security retail anti-theft devices such as the cable lock available and attached to the wallets, the visibility of the lock would have deterred the shoplifter from stealing.
Not every store can afford to staff a Loss Prevention officer due to the expense of the additional payroll. What a store CAN do is invest in retail anti-theft devices such as an Alpha cable lock and benefit financially from reduced theft and improved profits. Find out how Alpha Security can help your store prevent shoplifting.
Get more information on Alpha Security, contact us or call 1.770.426.0547 today.