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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    4

    Default Security loop holes.

    It seems like the loop holes in store security creates a never ending game of cat and mouse.
    Loophole #1: The dressing room being a safe zone for shoplifters.
    Loophold #2: Seemingly widespread fear of being sued by innocent targets.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Sydney Australia
    Posts
    1,390

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    Paul, welcome to retail LOL.

    Yes the agressors know all they do is have to put on a performance and then claim "the LPO hit me or the security guard made me do this because of what he was doing to me" and with liability such an expense in business, many companies will just pay up and shut up. I live in Australia so we have not had nowhere near these issues like the USA, but it will only be a matter of time before it becomes an alarming trend.

    Reality: You will not stop every dishonest person but you can make a dent into their opportunities without arresting people - just make sure you get the help of the eyes of other staff to contact you when something is not right.
    "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    WA State
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    518

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulPasciak View Post
    Loophole #1: The dressing room being a safe zone for shoplifters.
    That's a myth.

    When I worked LP, most of my apprehensions involved fitting room thefts.

  4. #4

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    Paul, I worked in retail before and in most stores, the associate is supposed to put everything in the dressing room for the person. This reduces a lot of shoplifting. I know where you're coming from though.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Sydney Australia
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    1,390

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    I had these issues with volume sales retailers and made sure the fitting rooms were bare as much as possible. Mesh over their ceilings, lights were shapes with no points of concealment. But from my experience, the fitting rooms in places such as Kmart or similar are usually manned by a very young team member who has more interest in discussing Idol and could only be employed for 8 from 12 hours of store opening. When you reduce the risk of concealment of tags, find staff suitable to cover the fitting rooms and above all, ensure that you examine every component of the your risk control in these areas. You can do everything possible to educate staff and reduce the risk but it will not eliminate customers (and staff) from theft.
    "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    Posts
    384

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    Quote Originally Posted by LPGuy View Post
    That's a myth.

    When I worked LP, most of my apprehensions involved fitting room thefts.
    Why does the idea of dressing rooms being a safe zone for shoplifters seem like a "myth" to you?

    How do you know if what the person had when they went in, wasn't something that already belonged to them?
    How do you if the merchandise was and/or has been concealed?
    How do you know where the merchandise was concealed?

    These were just 3 of the things that we had to consider when working a case and the fitting rooms were used for the theft.....
    With the place that I worked at, once the individual(s) went inside, no apprehension was to be made. I don't know about other retail company policies, but at this place dressing rooms were definitely a safe zone for the thiefs to go to...

    Wish things were different as we lost numerous apprehensions because of this issue
    "Life In Every Breath"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Sydney Australia
    Posts
    1,390

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    Agreed - loss of continuity is why I cringe when I hear these things happen. Our fitting rooms are self locking now nationally as it cost a fortune to get them all biometric locks (each boutique has 6 - 12 fitting rooms) but when someone will spent $5k US in 1 item, it is petty cash to spend a few hundred. We recoup this just with 1 dress (around $4k US) each year so it was worth it for each store to bear the cost.
    "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    160

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    One problem unlicenced Loss Prevention Officers (Inhouse) have over this side of the pond is that they're not allowed to arrest the perp until they've gone passed the point of payment.
    But by that time they have gone out of the door and we are not insured and not allowed to go after them once they leave the premises.

    Usually Loss Prevention Officers, Inhouse, do not have other Licenced Collegues to back them up and other Store Guards are usually quite difficult to call out because sometimes they could be busy and they are also bound by the strict rules on catching a perp.

    It is suggested that we move the alarms by the door further into the store and make a pathway to them so that people cannot dodge going through them, technically when the door alarms go off the perp has gone past the point of payment and is then arrestable but that still means being close to the doors and the door alarms just to have a chance at catching them before they leg it off up the road.
    Ewfr 'Gomulee - EuwFer 'Gom-You-Lee
    Court Security Officer - Her Majesty's Courts Service HMCS

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
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    384

    Default

    One problem unlicenced Loss Prevention Officers (Inhouse) have over this side of the pond is that they're not allowed to arrest the perp until they've gone passed the point of payment.
    But by that time they have gone out of the door and we are not insured and not allowed to go after them once they leave the premises.
    That's how it was (is) with where I worked at. Basically, you have to wait until the suspect(s) have passed all points of payment. Vary rarely would a stop be made before then unless there was an immediate danger that presented itself to other customers. And even then, once they had passed all purchase points it would still get confusing.....

    We could still stop someone outside but only if he/she hadn't made it past the "curb" as we called it. Which is where the cutoff is between store and city property.

    Agreed - loss of continuity is why I cringe when I hear these things happen. Our fitting rooms are self locking now nationally as it cost a fortune to get them all biometric locks (each boutique has 6 - 12 fitting rooms)
    We did have the idea being tossed around as to whether or not if "locking" the dressing rooms would be something of concern. The main arguement against this was that by doing it, and only allowing that department to have the key/code, would cost the store more business than was worth the effort. Losing merchandise to dressing room theft was right up there as one of the top categories for shrinkage. We would find literally tons of tags and/or clothes that were switched for new ones...grrrr!
    "Life In Every Breath"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    11

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    Quote Originally Posted by LPAjh9558 View Post
    Why does the idea of dressing rooms being a safe zone for shoplifters seem like a "myth" to you?

    How do you know if what the person had when they went in, wasn't something that already belonged to them?
    That's why most LP programs have "steps" that have to be observed to make an arrest, the first 2 being "Approach" and "Selection". That's how you know it was something that didn't already belong to them.

    Quote Originally Posted by LPAjh9558 View Post
    How do you if the merchandise was and/or has been concealed?
    Because you observe the subject enter the fitting room with, let's say 4 items, which you observed them previously select and then you observe the subject exit with only 2 items in their hands and put them back on the floor. You inspect the fitting room area (while your partner maintains observation of the subject) and find no merchandise in there. That means the subject has 2 items concealed.

    Quote Originally Posted by LPAjh9558 View Post
    How do you know where the merchandise was concealed?
    You don't. But you still maintained continuity, so you know the subject has 2 items on him. If they exit and not make an attempt to pay, you can arrest them.



    This is why fitting rooms are not a safe zone for thieves.
    Many of my arrests were fitting room cases and have stood up in court (in Canada).

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