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Interesting Counter-Surveillance Situation!

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  • Interesting Counter-Surveillance Situation!

    So recently we have been observing this subject at our store that sits in our parking lot for hours on end. He will sometimes walk around the property and nearby area. He comes into the store paying close attention to employees and makes very thorough observations of merchandise, especially high dollar items. He never buys anything, but has been doing this for days! Yesterday he was in the lot for approximately 12 hours. He appears to be watching who comes into work in plain clothes and our vehicles. I am assuming that he is performing surveillance for the heist of a lifetime! I am especially paranoid because another one of our stores has had this same exact situation a while back. We are planning on this being an ORC situation. I honestly don't think he realizes all we know and that we recognize him even when he tries to change his appearance! Anyone else seen anything else like this?
    Asset Protection- We're paid to be paranoid... How can you beat that!

  • #2
    I've had a very similar situation occur in two separate incidences, at two different retailers I worked for, years apart.

    The first, we caught on to it early and we were able to conduct surveillance on this person who parked their vehicle on the other side of the parking lot. He came in several times over approximately a week, changing appearances frequently, and checking high priced items and appeared to be testing our security functions. We prepared how we would conduct an apprehension, if it happened, and we were more ready for this person than probably any other suspect we'd ever arrest.
    Later on the evening of the Friday night, we made an apprehension on another individual who stole about $30 of merchandise. Afterward, we became aware that this individual had left the store with several TVs and other high priced items, possibly totaling over $1000 or more. The person departed the parking lot, and we reported the theft and the license plate to the police. The vehicle was stolen, and was found torched on an isolated highway just a few days later. The suspect was never found.

    The second time was similar to the first, in that we caught on to this surveillance early. A difference was that I was the LP Manager of a store at the time, and having learned from my mistakes, we quickly caught on to his behaviour. It was a different suspect, but he was exhibiting similar behaviour. As a Loss Prevention Manager, I was aware how important preventative measures are, and we took a proactive route and, after identifying trends that suggest criminal intent or deviant behaviour, simply called the police, informed them of the behaviour observed, reported the license plate number, and within minutes, the suspect was arrested because he, too, was driving a stolen car. And even if he wasn't, the police would speak to him, he would become aware that we knew what he was doing, and he'd go away.

    So based on my experiences, I believe that taking the proactive route in this situation is the prudent way to go.
    Last edited by Nauticus; 06-25-2012, 04:16 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by AP716 View Post
      So recently we have been observing this subject at our store that sits in our parking lot for hours on end. He will sometimes walk around the property and nearby area. He comes into the store paying close attention to employees and makes very thorough observations of merchandise, especially high dollar items. He never buys anything, but has been doing this for days! Yesterday he was in the lot for approximately 12 hours. He appears to be watching who comes into work in plain clothes and our vehicles. I am assuming that he is performing surveillance for the heist of a lifetime! I am especially paranoid because another one of our stores has had this same exact situation a while back. We are planning on this being an ORC situation. I honestly don't think he realizes all we know and that we recognize him even when he tries to change his appearance! Anyone else seen anything else like this?
      If someone is sitting in your lot for that long, call the police and report the vehicle as suspicious. They will come by and run the plate, and also ID and run the driver. You accomplish a few things by doing this. You get his identity confirmed, and also find out if the car is stolen, or if he has warrants. At the very least, he would be deterred from coming back.
      ATTN. SPECOPS AND GECKO45 my secret username is CIDDECEP and I am your S2. My authorization code is Six Wun Quebec Oscar Fife. Your presence here is tactically dangerous and compromises our overall mission parameter. Cease and desist all activity on this board. Our “enemies” are deft at computer hacking and may trace you back to our primary locale. You have forced me to compromise my situation to protect your vulnerable flank. This issue will be addressed later.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Minneapolis Security View Post
        If someone is sitting in your lot for that long, call the police and report the vehicle as suspicious. They will come by and run the plate, and also ID and run the driver. You accomplish a few things by doing this. You get his identity confirmed, and also find out if the car is stolen, or if he has warrants. At the very least, he would be deterred from coming back.
        Exactly what I was going to say! Also, they will more than likely tie his name into their system under a suspicious activity report. Ask to make contact with the officer after they investigate into it.

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        • #5
          Yeah, our plan is to have the police make contact soon. We were going to wait him out at first to see what was going to happen, but at this point I would rather just make him aware that we are aware of him and deter him from coming back.
          Asset Protection- We're paid to be paranoid... How can you beat that!

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          • #6
            In my old LP job at a high-profile greeting card store, we faced similar situations involving ORC. We had a 3 man LP team: two Tactical LP Officers as well as one Undercover LP Detective. I was one of the Tactical Officers.

            The most memorable ORC takedown we handled was actually initiated by the perp. He had been casing the store for nearly a week and we were on to him. However, he took out detective for another shoplifter because he had seen them there the entire week. Rather than this blowing his cover, the perp invited him into the ring. After a 6 month undercover operation, we were able to take down one of the largest ORC rings in the United States. Needless to say, we haven't had a shoplifter since.

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            • #7
              Take care of this guy now not "soon." This guy is setting you up. Imagine your carrying on some type of cat and mouse operation and he carries out criminal act against your company or your customers and you were suspicious about this all this time. Get the police involved now. Get pictures/video.
              Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
              Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

              Contributor to Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference

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              • #8
                Originally posted by rpmacmurphy View Post
                In my old LP job at a high-profile greeting card store, we faced similar situations involving ORC. We had a 3 man LP team: two Tactical LP Officers as well as one Undercover LP Detective. I was one of the Tactical Officers.

                The most memorable ORC takedown we handled was actually initiated by the perp. He had been casing the store for nearly a week and we were on to him. However, he took out detective for another shoplifter because he had seen them there the entire week. Rather than this blowing his cover, the perp invited him into the ring. After a 6 month undercover operation, we were able to take down one of the largest ORC rings in the United States. Needless to say, we haven't had a shoplifter since.
                I would like to see news reports and articles. Thanks.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by rpmacmurphy View Post
                  In my old LP job at a high-profile greeting card store, we faced similar situations involving ORC. We had a 3 man LP team: two Tactical LP Officers as well as one Undercover LP Detective. I was one of the Tactical Officers.

                  The most memorable ORC takedown we handled was actually initiated by the perp. He had been casing the store for nearly a week and we were on to him. However, he took out detective for another shoplifter because he had seen them there the entire week. Rather than this blowing his cover, the perp invited him into the ring. After a 6 month undercover operation, we were able to take down one of the largest ORC rings in the United States. Needless to say, we haven't had a shoplifter since.
                  Since you can expect that 1 out of 11 shoppers that pass through your doors will shoplift, if given the right set of circumstances and conditions, I suggest you have had shoplifters - you just haven't caught them.
                  Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
                  Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

                  Contributor to Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Curtis Baillie View Post
                    Since you can expect that 1 out of 11 shoppers that pass through your doors will shoplift, if given the right set of circumstances and conditions, I suggest you have had shoplifters - you just haven't caught them.
                    You make a good point. I misworded what I said, I actually haven't worked there for years. I remember that our place didn't see any action for quite some time after the bust and up until I left. It could have been because they got smarter. Our detective was moved to another store for obvious reasons.

                    Cap - sorry but I don't have any clippings of this. It was over a decade ago before the media even knew about ORC. I feel that it is one of the most downplayed crimes in the media. They're more concerned with shoplifters dying when police arrive rather than the disgusting profits these guys make..

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                    • #11
                      As already been stated get the police involved now and let them handle it. They have much more authority in dealing with things. As soon as we determine the suspicious behavior we call the Crime Suppresion Unit and let them take over. Better to prevent the crime than to sit around until it happens and watch it go bad and end up on the evening news.

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                      • #12
                        I would be nice if the OP would come back and give an update on what happened.
                        Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
                        Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

                        Contributor to Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference

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