Florida Employee Theft Investigations.
Are Employees Stealing.
Retail loss prevention. Retail loss
prevention is a set of practices employed by retail companies to
preserve profit. Profit preservation is any business activity
specifically designed to reduce preventable losses.
loss prevention is a set of practices employed by retail companies to
preserve profit. Profit preservation is any business activity
specifically designed to reduce preventable losses. A preventable
loss is any business cost caused by deliberate or inadvertent human
actions, colloquially known as "shrinkage". Deliberate human
actions that cause loss to a retail company can be theft, fraud,
vandalism, waste, abuse, or misconduct. Inadvertent human actions
attributable to loss are poorly executed business processes, where
employees fail to follow existing policies or procedures - or cases
in which business policies and procedures are lacking. Loss
prevention is mainly found within the retail sector but also can be
found within other business environments.
Since retail loss
prevention is geared towards the elimination of preventable loss and
the bulk of preventable loss in retail is caused by deliberate human
activity, traditional approaches to retail loss prevention have been
through visible security measures matched with technology such as
CCTV and electronic sensor barriers. Most companies take this
traditional approach by either having their own in-house loss
prevention team or using external security agencies. Their are Four
elements are necessary for a successful loss prevention plan: 1)
Total support from top management, 2) A positive employee attitude,
3) Maximum use of all available resources, 4) A system which
establishes both responsibility and accountability for loss
prevention through evaluations that are consistent and progressive."
Periodically retail business inventories all of the
merchandise in the store. Items that are unaccounted for compared to
what the inventory system believes the store should have are losses
or "shrink". Shrink is caused by operational errors, internal theft,
and external theft. Retail loss prevention is responsible for
identifying these causes and following up with training, preventing,
investigating, responding to and resolving them.
External theft is when customers intentionally cause
shrink by theft, fraud, or vandalism. 80% of customers who steal
merchandise are opportunists and do not walk into the store with the
intent to steal. They find that one thing they did not expect to
find, cannot afford to pay for it, and will steal it if they have the
opportunity. Others are desperate who will steal essentials for their
family, but only if they have the opportunity. A few steal because
they like the adrenaline rush and will steal, regardless of how much
money they have if they have the opportunity. The remainder are
"boosters" who are thieves for a living, walk in with the full intent
to steal and sell their goods for a profit, on their own, or to a
"fence" that sells stolen merchandise.
The vast majority of
thieves have one thing in common, they will steal only if they have
the opportunity. So theft prevention is fairly easy. Constant and
great customer service will eliminate most opportunity to steal.
However, there are those who are not as easily deterred. Prevention
techniques commonly used are customer service, Electronic Article
Surveillance (EAS) with inventory control devices, uninformed or
plain-clothed security and/or loss prevention personnel, surveillance
systems, dummy cameras, locked display cases, etc.
prevention uses several prevention techniques because, like most
things, there is no one answer for everything. Once all prevention
measures are in place, resolving external theft in many companies
includes apprehending shoplifters. State laws vary and allow business
owners or representatives of the company to detain shoplifters with
"reasonable force" for a "reasonable amount of time" until law
enforcement arrives. Several companies have designated trained
individuals who are allowed to detain shoplifters according to
company policy. Modern retail loss prevention teams use surveillance
techniques with camera systems or on the sales floor or a
combination. Working in teams has its advantages since one person can
man the cameras while the rest of the team observes on the sales
floor as individual shoppers in disguise or male and female loss
prevention agents posing as a couple.
Policy from company to
company varies, but are basically the same. There are very specific
elements that Loss Prevention must observe before detaining a
Some of the typical elements are:
the subject enter the store or department
Observe the subject
Observe the subject conceal merchandise
what the subject selected and where it was concealed
unbroken observation of the subject
In some companies,
entering a restroom or fitting room is broken surveillance and
elements must start over. Observe the subject pass all points of
sale. In some states, the point of sale may be the line of cash
registers or the front door. One must observe the subject exit the
If any of the elements used by the company are not
observed, Loss Prevention may not detain the subject according to
company policy. The use of force or detain the shoplifter varies from
company to company and take local and state laws into consideration.
Detaining an individual who did not take merchandise is referred
to as a "bad stop", and depending on the severity of the situation
and if force was used against the innocent business patron will
depend on the severity of the consequences for the loss prevention
agent. Consequences for a bad stop may include a civil lawsuit,
corrective action from the company up to and including termination,
criminal prosecution for kidnapping is possible if an innocent
customer is moved and detained against their will, etc. So mistakes
are not an option and the fear of making mistakes can be very
Thinking Of Hiring A Private Investigator For Retail Fraud, Contact Us at: Telephone
(954) 768 - 9222
Questions To Ask!
An Inexpensive PI Agency,
May Not Be, The Best Investment.
Inquire, If The Agencies Owner(s) Will
Be On-Site, During The Investigation.
What Will Your Be Charged For?
How Will You, Be Kept Informed.
Prove To Me, Your Agents, Are
Working The Case. That your agency is not using interns in training or
sub-contracting my assignment to another firm.
Investigations And Services.