Over the past two years, the company I work for has been slowly increasing the headcount of our Loss Prevention Department. Our upper management finally understands that we can deploy all the latest anti-shoplifting devices money can buy, but it still won’t stop a shoplifter whose full time job is to steal from us. So, over the past two years or so, I had the privilege of assembling a team of young professionals to work in my higher shrinkage stores to tackle the shoplifter problem (not literally though). While not every store environment can have a dedicated LP agent, the return on investment that I get from my team is huge. Last quarter, they recovered more dollars for the store than what I spent on their payroll.
Just recently, I found myself training one of our new hires. He came to us with a plethora of LP experience and was ready to hit the ground running. After a few days of covering policies, it was time to hit the floor and make a few apprehensions. One of the key notes in our training is what behaviors to look for in a potential shoplifter. Within no time, my rookie calls me and informs me that there is a suspect attempting to remove a Checkpoint Tag from a pair of brand name blue jeans. I knew what was about to happen, so I met up with my rookie and we continued observation. In no time, the suspect had defeated the hard tag. I figured concealment was next, but it didn’t happen.
We both watched as our suspect selected a very inexpensive pair of shorts. After a few minutes of tinkering with the tag, he switched the prices on the jeans for the much cheaper barcode from the shorts. Surprisingly, this wasn’t the first time I had seen this happen, but I always give credit to a shoplifter who puts some thought into their deceptive ways. With all the countless hundreds of retail theft prevention solutions out there, sometimes, a dedicated thief will still cause you loss. That’s why having an LP resource in the store is important in some instances.
Getting back to our suspect, who now has a $5.99 barcode on a $69 pair of jeans. He starts making his way to the registers where I was hoping… no expecting the well trained cashier to catch the discrepancy and stop the loss. She didn’t and he got a very good deal on denim. My agent attempts to detain the suspect, however he flees. We don’t chase, but we do relay his information to local police, who were able to catch up to him down the road. Not only did he run from us, he also thought it a good idea to run from the police. Long story short, he totaled his vehicle and hid in the woods for a few hours before being introduced to a Malinois named Trigger. Good dog.
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