Organized Retail Crime Theft
There are many ways in which retail stores deal with theft. This is a very easy target for criminal activities and there are many strategies criminals are using for this purpose. This is the main reason why it is important to ensure to implement proper security measures.
One of the biggest problems with organized retail rime is that even if the loss caused by one incident is only of a couple of items, this racks up to huge losses on a monthly basis. Retail crime is one of the most common types of crime.
It is so common that most retail stores expect to deal with a certain margin of loss caused by theft. With that said, prevention is possible with the right kind of security measures. The important thing is to become aware of the many ways in which this can happen.
The most common methods to steal store items
The following methods are the most commonly seen in store theft cases. Knowing how the criminal operates while visiting the store is very important. Once you and your staff can understand how these activities take place, you will be able to take proper measures to avoid as many of those situations as possible.
The boosting method
This is the most common way for anyone to stealth items from a store. What they do is they walk in the store and they look for a good spot to avoid the cameras. They will usually hide the item or items under their clothes after taking off the security tag.
Most of the time they will take a few items to the fitting room and knowing that cameras are not allowed inside the fitting rooms, they hide the items while they pretend to try the clothes on.
The flash robbery
This one is not as common because the risk element is much higher. A flash robbery is the type of situation when several people go into a store, they pick expensive items, they all meet at a specific spot and run out of the store to a car or cars waiting for them.
Flash robberies are very risky because there is the possibility of being spotted or even followed by a police vehicle. This is the reason why the boosting method is likely to be the one that you see more often.
The price switchers
This is yet another strategy that can be very costly and difficult to catch. Some people will spend a good time just swapping price tags and then taking those items with lower prices to the checkout.
The problem with this is that they will usually find items that are at least half the prices of the ones they are buying. This is also a risky strategy for the buyer because there is going to be a record of the transaction even if the person uses cash.
The main issue for thieves is that cameras are very likely to spot them, but the pandemic is making it easier for criminals to use this strategy due to facemasks. This is why the price switch strategy has regained popularity.
Effective ways to prevent organized retail crime
There are many strategies that one can use in order to avoid dealing with organized crime. The biggest concern in this type of situation is that it can require some specific changes to your store.
Not only that, but you need to consider investing in specific equipment. In any case, you need to strengthen your sore security in order to avoid constant loss.
Install security cameras
This is one of the oldest and most effective ways to keep your store safe. The best thing about cameras is that you can hang signs that remind people that there are live cameras at the store. Usually something like “you are being recorded for your safety” is a good message.
The best thing about security cameras is that they have become very cheap. You can install a large network of cameras for a very low cost and installing monitors is easier than ever before.
Another great aspect of this is that you can install the video feed on your mobile device. This means that you can give this access to several people in your staff. You no longer need to hire a security expert to install this system. With that said, it is always a good idea to consult with professionals.
Optimize the store layout
This is also an important decision because your store could be making it too easy for criminals to steal clothes. You need to get rid of clutter and hidden areas in favor of visibility.
It is always a good idea to seek the advice of security experts that can help you optimize your store layout. Sometimes this will require some heavy remodeling, but in most cases, it is just a matter of rearranging things.
Add mirrors to specific store areas
There are some areas of your store that are outside the reach of your cameras, but you can fix that by adding more mirrors. This is going to give all the hallways and corners better visibility. Sometimes having more mirrors is enough to deter criminal activity.
Train your store staff to spot suspicious situations
Your store staff should be able to see certain behaviors in order to spot any potential theft. The best thing to do is to hire a security company that can train your staff for store theft prevention.
When your staff becomes aware of the many behaviors that usually lead to theft, they will be able to help keep your store safe. This can mean it could potentially save your store from losing thousands of dollars.
Final thoughts on organized retail crime theft
There are many things that concern storeowners and one of them is theft, but hiring the right kind of security experts can make a world of a difference. It is only a matter of being able to take proper action to handle all possible scenarios.
By Joseph Sordi, SVP
Strategic Security Corp.