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  • Catching an internal

    So, I've been in the loss prevention field for over a year now and have been able to deal with everything thrown at me. Everything except for internal cases. Over the past 2 years the store I'm working at has only had 2 internal cases. The store is a major retailer in a college town.

    The problem I have is that I can't for the life of me get an internal case! Ive tried every method I can think of from coverts in random backroom areas to running reports daily on voids and discount transactions. It seems like the only thing I'm ever able to find is consumption cases which we classify as a write up the first time than termination (depending on the dollar amount).

    Does anyone have any tricks to getting an internal? I know they have to be out there since one of the older managers had 14 in one year, its just a matter of finding them.

  • #2
    I was just saying to myself today how internals are so irritating. Our store is getting smoked with internals. I just spent most of my day watching hours of video trying to figure out how $5,000 of video games vanish in two hours before the store is even open. Our problem is we have at least five working together to pull it off so we almost have to dump all our resources into this case. It's irritating because you know what is going on and work so hard to prove it and can never catch them at the right time. You start asking little questions and everyone is feeding you a pile of bull!
    Asset Protection- We're paid to be paranoid... How can you beat that!

    Comment


    • #3
      While the position I am currently in really has no real role in the field of internal investigations my experiences so far may be of some help. All internals that I can remember that we have pulled had shown a significant change in behavior. This has two exceptions one being a seasonal employee who was not in the store for but 2 weeks and the other being a Internal who was the target of case building for Cough Cough eight months Cough. Now to the rest of my examples. Each one showed a significant change in behavior some simple and extremely obvious like their significant other just lost their job. While others a little less obvious like the individual was becoming more lethargic while at work when they used to be really bubble or excited each day. I suggest go use the company break room make sure your walking the floor interacting with your team(only if this is part of your job of course). I believe this will lead to more internal cases then the most strategically planned camera moves or the most high tech auditing system.

      This all good and fun don't forget about employees who are isolated or by themselves for extending periods of time. I am unaware for your companies policies towards vendor theft or even if your company has vendors but these guys are quite often secluded and by themselves. It doesn't seem to help the fact that the Pepsi vendor giving out freebies is actually giving out your merchandise(completely fictitious example I know this would be grazing and hard to prove intent on the part of the vendor but I was just trying to get my point across).

      Comment


      • #4
        Internals always seem to be the elusive animal, often times the most difficult to catch, but with the highest reward.

        I tackle internals two ways.

        The first, I always conduct daily and weekly audits, each time focusing on a different department. It is vastly important to understand completely that department's policies and procedures. The role of an audit is to complete a task that tests the employees if a department in abiding by internal policies and procedures. You typically won't catch internal theft using an audit, but you will be able to identify camouflage holes and breaches of policy that result in opportunities for staff with less integrity to act against the corporation.

        Audits should be targeted at departments and not individuals, in order to avoid any discrimination or harassment allegations that could occur as a result. They are the loss prevention investigator's proactive tool to reduce liability, control loss, and strengthen employee safety.

        The second technique is the actual investigation. An investigation is only begun when there is a lead of some sort - information, or a report of lost asset, etc. When I obtain information, before doing anything, I analyze the information and my first step is to always collect information to support the validity of the fact, if the information is questionable. Then I conduct the investigation using an appropriate amount of resources and whatever investigative tools I have at my disposal.

        Comment


        • #5
          Do you have formal interview training? If so, do general loss interviews (gli). These uncover lots of useful info. Employees can sense when their coworkers are acting strange yet many don't offer it up until asked.

          Investigations are needed, but in LP we tend to drag them out until we have the silver bullet. I get the employee in the chair and interview. It does one of several things. #1 - you can get the admission for theft, #2- they deny, go back to floor and stop stealing or #3 - they become an LP tipster. All are wins.

          We have over 300 employees in our store. I just took out
          8 in one week. Relax, they will come.

          Comment


          • #6
            I have noticed that the biggest sign will be the change of behavior. I have noticed that the leader of video game ring has always been quiet, but now ignores or avoids any LP interaction. Of course with some patience, and a lot of coffee powered overnight covert surveillance we'll will be shutting down a few!
            Asset Protection- We're paid to be paranoid... How can you beat that!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by AP716 View Post
              I have noticed that the biggest sign will be the change of behavior. I have noticed that the leader of video game ring has always been quiet, but now ignores or avoids any LP interaction. Of course with some patience, and a lot of coffee powered overnight covert surveillance we'll will be shutting down a few!
              To be honest, I always enjoyed the coffee fueled midnight surveillance. It was calming, and it was sometimes exciting.

              Then portable DVR drives were invented and I didn't have to watch the footage until I picked it up the next morning...

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by AP716 View Post
                I was just saying to myself today how internals are so irritating. Our store is getting smoked with internals. I just spent most of my day watching hours of video trying to figure out how $5,000 of video games vanish in two hours before the store is even open. Our problem is we have at least five working together to pull it off so we almost have to dump all our resources into this case. It's irritating because you know what is going on and work so hard to prove it and can never catch them at the right time. You start asking little questions and everyone is feeding you a pile of bull!
                I wish it was that easy to find them! Sounds like you have a lot of work ahead of you. Im sure it will all be worth it in the end though!

                Originally posted by Lpeon View Post
                All internals that I can remember that we have pulled had shown a significant change in behavior. This has two exceptions one being a seasonal employee who was not in the store for but 2 weeks and the other being a Internal who was the target of case building for Cough Cough eight months Cough. Now to the rest of my examples. Each one showed a significant change in behavior some simple and extremely obvious like their significant other just lost their job. While others a little less obvious like the individual was becoming more lethargic while at work when they used to be really bubble or excited each day. I suggest go use the company break room make sure your walking the floor interacting with your team(only if this is part of your job of course). I believe this will lead to more internal cases then the most strategically planned camera moves or the most high tech auditing system.

                This all good and fun don't forget about employees who are isolated or by themselves for extending periods of time. I am unaware for your companies policies towards vendor theft or even if your company has vendors but these guys are quite often secluded and by themselves. It doesn't seem to help the fact that the Pepsi vendor giving out freebies is actually giving out your merchandise(completely fictitious example I know this would be grazing and hard to prove intent on the part of the vendor but I was just trying to get my point across).
                Thanks for all of the information! I really havent been too focused on behavior, more on using POS searches. Ill be sure to look into things like this. As for vendor theft I honestly dont know how they work. I should really sit down one day with the person that works in the receiving end and see exactly how everything works.

                Originally posted by Nauticus View Post
                The first, I always conduct daily and weekly audits, each time focusing on a different department. It is vastly important to understand completely that department's policies and procedures. The role of an audit is to complete a task that tests the employees if a department in abiding by internal policies and procedures. You typically won't catch internal theft using an audit, but you will be able to identify camouflage holes and breaches of policy that result in opportunities for staff with less integrity to act against the corporation.

                Audits should be targeted at departments and not individuals, in order to avoid any discrimination or harassment allegations that could occur as a result. They are the loss prevention investigator's proactive tool to reduce liability, control loss, and strengthen employee safety.

                The second technique is the actual investigation. An investigation is only begun when there is a lead of some sort - information, or a report of lost asset, etc. When I obtain information, before doing anything, I analyze the information and my first step is to always collect information to support the validity of the fact, if the information is questionable. Then I conduct the investigation using an appropriate amount of resources and whatever investigative tools I have at my disposal.
                Could you give an example of an audit that you conduct? Do you mean something along the lines of seeing if they are counting clothes when customers enter the fitting room?

                Originally posted by capurato View Post
                Do you have formal interview training? If so, do general loss interviews (gli). These uncover lots of useful info. Employees can sense when their coworkers are acting strange yet many don't offer it up until asked.
                We have over 300 employees in our store. I just took out
                8 in one week. Relax, they will come.
                I wish I did, although I dont think my company would take too kindly to conducting a witch hunt on all of the employees. I actually suggested putting up a confidential box where employees could write in tips anonymously but the head honcho said something along the lines of not wanting to worry the team.

                Originally posted by AP716 View Post
                I have noticed that the biggest sign will be the change of behavior. I have noticed that the leader of video game ring has always been quiet, but now ignores or avoids any LP interaction. Of course with some patience, and a lot of coffee powered overnight covert surveillance we'll will be shutting down a few!
                Nice, I hope it works out for you! Sounds like a really exciting case.

                Thanks again for all of the tips everyone! I really hope I can get things rolling now.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by wiredharpoon View Post

                  Could you give an example of an audit that you conduct? Do you mean something along the lines of seeing if they are counting clothes when customers enter the fitting room?
                  Audits can be simple. For fitting rooms, I can monitor on camera for a while and make sure that the staff count what goes into the fitting rooms. I also do walk throughs to make sure staff remove clothing from each fitting room that was left behind.

                  We have policies and procedures regarding cash handling, so I might spend 30 minutes or an hour a week watching cashiers to ensure that they are following the correct policy.

                  I live monitor some shipments in the loading area to ensure that the proper policies are being followed.

                  I kick it up a notch and actually quiz store staff on loss prevention topics (they receive very good loss prevention training from LP staff during seminars and at orientation).

                  I usually have a clipboard for each department, and as I live monitor, I can easily keep track of breaches or otherwise good work. The results, whether positive or negative, are turned into the department manager and the store manager to keep them aware.

                  Continued breaches in policy by select staff sometimes results in a close watch being placed on them. It just results in additional monitoring to determine whether it is a training issue or something more.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Nauticus View Post
                    Audits can be simple. For fitting rooms, I can monitor on camera for a while and make sure that the staff count what goes into the fitting rooms. I also do walk throughs to make sure staff remove clothing from each fitting room that was left behind.

                    We have policies and procedures regarding cash handling, so I might spend 30 minutes or an hour a week watching cashiers to ensure that they are following the correct policy.

                    I live monitor some shipments in the loading area to ensure that the proper policies are being followed.

                    I kick it up a notch and actually quiz store staff on loss prevention topics (they receive very good loss prevention training from LP staff during seminars and at orientation).

                    I usually have a clipboard for each department, and as I live monitor, I can easily keep track of breaches or otherwise good work. The results, whether positive or negative, are turned into the department manager and the store manager to keep them aware.

                    Continued breaches in policy by select staff sometimes results in a close watch being placed on them. It just results in additional monitoring to determine whether it is a training issue or something more.
                    I cant thank you enough for all of the information you threw in there, this is exactly what I was looking for. I think I mainly just needed some ideas to get the ball rolling on things. Ill go ahead and look into some of this and a bit more and see what I can find.

                    Thanks so much!

                    Comment

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