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What works and what doesnt in my experience.

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  • What works and what doesnt in my experience.

    I think the number one misconception for newer LPO's when following possible shoplifters is that they try and blend in as a shopper and not try and hide.I myself on personnal experiences have seen this work against a LPO's usually scares the suspect away.I prefer to hide and follow the suspect at all times if possible.I watched lifters wait for long periods of time to wait until all customers have left the area they are in until they make their move.
    When out searching for someone to follow instead of carrying a item or a basket with items i carry and pretend to read the store flyer.I have caught many a shoplifter carrying the flyer.Like i said above was that i like to hide and follow but there are times when the suspect does come your way and there is no time to hide.When thus happens to me i just flip open the flyer and pretend to read.
    We use at our store lots of ceiling tile mirrors.Place them in heavy targeted areas.Hide behind a shelf and start watching.We have caught lots this way.Even when i am using mirrors i still try and hide just incase the suspect looks up.It has happened to me a few times now.
    Another trick that works is to drill holes into shelfs so that you can see too the other side and watch whats going down.
    Ill make some more do's and dont's when i get home form work.

  • #2
    Do you arrest and prosecute or do you have the party sign a form stating that they are barred from the store?
    Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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    • #3
      The company I worked for was contracted by a major home improvement retail store chain in Illinois. I worked throughout the Chicagoland area. I've noticed that the closer your store is to the city, the less careful people are. An example would be the stores an hour from the city, majority of those caught were between 35-60 and male white. They'd spend an hour cuffing an item in their hand before finally concealing and then going to purchase other items.

      When in closer to the city, they'd jock the item, including packaging. They'd do this while standing directly under a camera.

      I always hated the older stores with the mirrors on the ceiling. Having to be inconspicious while staring up at the ceiling for 10-20 minutes isn't very appealing.

      Lucky for me, our client was more interested in numbers than actual decent stops. Meaning, they'd be more satisfied with 10 reports of small items (read: nails, tape measures) than 1 drill stop for the month.

      Also, be advised that fencing operations monitor sites like this, so be careful what you disclose.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Serpico
        The company I worked for was contracted by a major home improvement retail store chain in Illinois. I worked throughout the Chicagoland area. I've noticed that the closer your store is to the city, the less careful people are. An example would be the stores an hour from the city, majority of those caught were between 35-60 and male white. They'd spend an hour cuffing an item in their hand before finally concealing and then going to purchase other items.

        When in closer to the city, they'd jock the item, including packaging. They'd do this while standing directly under a camera.

        I always hated the older stores with the mirrors on the ceiling. Having to be inconspicious while staring up at the ceiling for 10-20 minutes isn't very appealing.

        Lucky for me, our client was more interested in numbers than actual decent stops. Meaning, they'd be more satisfied with 10 reports of small items (read: nails, tape measures) than 1 drill stop for the month.

        Also, be advised that fencing operations monitor sites like this, so be careful what you disclose.
        That's one of the main problems with information disclosure. There's very little way of "verifying" a security professional. Some states don't require licensure. Most employers will NOT reveal that an employee works for them. Alot of information is considered proprietary and is under a Non-Disclosure Agreement - they fear it getting out and being used in a liability case against them.

        I have thought about how to determine "verification" for a security employee. There is very little way to do so. Florida, you can use the Division of Licensing. But, what if they don't work for a guard company, but instead work for the client themselves? Then all you can do is verify their employment - if the company wishes to.

        Law Enforcement Officers are easy to verify, by nature of their position. Any LE agency will go, "Yes, he works for us," because they're used to verifications. Security Companies will go, "We need to know why you want to know, and if we don't like the answer, we'll refuse to advise you."
        Some Kind of Commando Leader

        "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

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        • #5
          I agree 100%. One of the fencing ops I investigated ended up coming to a close and that's how I found out that they monitor sites like this. I had 2 in custody and these two were very slick about their course of action when they hit us. They must've hit 25 stores in the Chicagoland area and the total of merch lost was in the range of 30k. While questioning him, he told us about how he read several LP message boards to get a better idea of what we're going for and whatnot.

          I've seen other boards that had very detailed articles about how they get away with it. I never understood the point in that. Your FTO should do his/her job well enough that an LPO doesn't need to go looking through message boards to get info like that, ya know?

          Verification of an employee would be a logistical nightmare because the turnover rate for security companies is ridiculous, at least from what I've seen. Guys get the job, work a few weeks, and then quit. Not to mention that some people get the job just to have the inside and be able to steal. I was training some moron who went on break. I noticed she was walking around the store looking at merch. When she went out for a cigarette, I took her into custody for taking several dvds. Sure made my company look like crap.

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          • #6
            Heh. At least you cought the idiot.

            One time, before I went for an LP interview at a large company, I read everything I could about their operations on the internet. It was amusing how many disgruntled LP managers wrote stuff down, and released it to fringe sites to teach children how to steal and "strike back at the man," because the disgruntled managers felt that the rules were stupid.

            We had some conversation, and the guy asked me if I'd ever worked for the chain before. I explained what I found, and he was amused - he had not known about these things. Unfortunately, I couldn't take the job he offered (I asked for associate in the local store, he said I was overqualified and offered manager 50 miles away. I had to decline after discussing it with my girlfriend. That's one hell of a commute.)

            The internet is a wonderful source of lots of information, if you can seperate the BS from the half-truths.
            Some Kind of Commando Leader

            "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

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            • #7
              Wouldn't it be easier to prevent shoplifting rather than reacting after it has occurred? What I mean is this: You see a "customer" who is exhibiting all the classic behavior patterns for a shoplifter. You make sure this individual knows that you are on to him by shadowing him. The shoplifter realizes the game is up and leaves the store. No merchandise lost; no arrest and prosecution necessary. Maybe I'm missing something.
              Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Mr. Security
                Wouldn't it be easier to prevent shoplifting rather than reacting after it has occurred? What I mean is this: You see a "customer" who is exhibiting all the classic behavior patterns for a shoplifter. You make sure this individual knows that you are on to him by shadowing him. The shoplifter realizes the game is up and leaves the store. No merchandise lost; no arrest and prosecution necessary. Maybe I'm missing something.
                There's no quantifable results in that. Most LP departments are judged by dollar amount of shrink recovered (recovered profit), and number of prosecutions obtained.

                Not to mention that unless you have probable cause to make the stop, your "shadowing" the person could be intrepreted in court as "harassment," at worst, and "soft loss" as best. The soft loss would come from decreased purchasing due to people feeling that there is an "oppressive atmosphere" in the establishment.

                Ever notice that most stores don't have uniforms? And those that do, they don't do anything? Keeps the oppressive atmosphere down.
                Some Kind of Commando Leader

                "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
                  There's no quantifable results in that. Most LP departments are judged by dollar amount of shrink recovered (recovered profit), and number of prosecutions obtained.

                  Not to mention that unless you have probable cause to make the stop, your "shadowing" the person could be intrepreted in court as "harassment," at worst, and "soft loss" as best. The soft loss would come from decreased purchasing due to people feeling that there is an "oppressive atmosphere" in the establishment.

                  Ever notice that most stores don't have uniforms? And those that do, they don't do anything? Keeps the oppressive atmosphere down.
                  Makes sense. A classic "catch 22."
                  Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mr. Security
                    Wouldn't it be easier to prevent shoplifting rather than reacting after it has occurred? What I mean is this: You see a "customer" who is exhibiting all the classic behavior patterns for a shoplifter. You make sure this individual knows that you are on to him by shadowing him. The shoplifter realizes the game is up and leaves the store. No merchandise lost; no arrest and prosecution necessary. Maybe I'm missing something.
                    I don't know how other companies do it, but our client required that we hand out civil restitution for every theft. It's a way to make up for the money that they had to pay us. In fact, spooking a potential thief was frowned upon. The client wanted numbers and we had to produce them at any cost.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Serpico
                      ........ In fact, spooking a potential thief was frowned upon. The client wanted numbers and we had to produce them at any cost.
                      And I thought cops were the only ones accused of having quotas.
                      Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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                      • #12
                        The funny thing is that while a police department can get hit for having "quotas," in the corporate world, its simply a metric used to justify expenditure in the loss prevention area.

                        As long as associates don't use protected status as criteria for profiling, there's no real issues with "quotas," "profiling," etc.
                        Some Kind of Commando Leader

                        "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

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                        • #13
                          People, people! Quotas are a bad word. They prefer "performance standard".

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                          • #14
                            I guess some managers havent learned that it isnt the the volume of prosecution but the lack of crime that tells how good your security force is.
                            Seriously, the best way that i know to curb shoplifting is creating the illusion of omnipresence with uniformed security officers.If the thieves cant find any secluded spot to do their deed,they most likely will not do it.So the one thing i have learned is allways to know the quiet corners of the store and be aware of the people who go there.
                            The second is for the stores not to hire people who are deaf,dumb and blind as floor staff.Staff tip-offs are the second largest reason that leads to closer surveillance and eventual apprehension of the shoplifter around here,right after CCTV.

                            -FoxGhost
                            Shoplifters will be shot.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by FoxGhost
                              "Shoplifters Will Be Shot"
                              -FoxGhost
                              I like the sign that says: "Free ride in a police car for anyone caught shoplifting"
                              Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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