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  • Security guard a suspect in theft

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm..._theft22m.html

    Another piece of negative publicity for the security profession in my neck of the woods. $30K worth of sculptures sold for $100 in scrap value.... If the allegations are true, this is indeed very sad.

    In addition to conducting background checks, what else can be done to prevent this type of incident from happening?
    Michael A. Silva
    Silva Consultants

  • #2
    During the crusades one's hand would be cut off for stealing. I'd bet this would work well. For this kind of crime I might volunteer to cut off their hands (my sister is an artist, I can only imagine what the dead sculptor is doing in her grave). Realisticly I think the two should have to work off the sculture's value (computed for all time) breaking up boulders at some not so nice prison.
    Support bacteria. They're the only culture some people have.

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    • #3
      Scrap metal is a highly prized cash industry here with people steeling copper and brass fixtures from cemetaries, power cables and even parts of transformers for scrap metal sales and being scrap, no1 is going to query where it came from as most people want a fast buck. A security company owning friend had a case in November where the brass and copper fixtures from the garden watering system went missing over a long weekend but the new lawn mowing equipment in an unlocked shed went untouched.
      "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

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      • #4
        Originally posted by buck View Post
        During the crusades one's hand would be cut off for stealing.
        In some countries your hand is still cut off for stealing ...

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Silva Consultants View Post
          http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm..._theft22m.html

          Another piece of negative publicity for the security profession in my neck of the woods. $30K worth of sculptures sold for $100 in scrap value.... If the allegations are true, this is indeed very sad.

          In addition to conducting background checks, what else can be done to prevent this type of incident from happening?
          Doing whatever possible (wages+, training+, benefits+) to minimize turnover. Turnover is strongly associated with "shrinkage".
          formerly C&A

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          • #6
            1 client sold scrap metal, old pallets etc to a dealer about 5 miles away. Everyday 3 trucks were weighed (SOP's) and came back with cash payment as the pallets could be $1k per load or scrap could be a cheque of $11 - 14k per load. It was known weigh bridge attendants got $50.00 as did security staff per day to fudge the logs. The client was losing thousands per day as well as days when logs went mising resulting in pure cash incomes. The drivers were building a slush fund for their after work parties and trips away every month paid for by the company. 1 of the Ringleaders was the former security manager as his brother was the foreman for the scrap metal collection - until he was busted.

            Another incident an LPO informed me he found a uniform security officer getting changed in a back area (little staff movement) but recorded on tape. Seems he like a t-shirt so much he decided to wear it out under his uniform shirt and when he was called to my office claimed he had purchased it today (even with 1 of our price tags still on it from another retailer as per his story). As I said before - TEMPTATION !!!!!
            "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

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            • #7
              Here in CA, we had people posing as CalTrans (Dept. of Transportation) crews at night and removing sections of guardrails from the freeway. They would flare off traffic lanes and wear reflective work vests and the whole 9 yards. News reports said some of them made between 15-20K per load. People come up with the most outrageous schemes . . .
              The law is reason free from passion." -- Aristotle

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              • #8
                A couple of things that can be done to possibly help minimize criminal activities by guards is to hire someone with a TIME proven work history, where the hiring company actually takes the time to do a good background check, and,

                To pay a good wage.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by bpdblue View Post
                  To pay a good wage.
                  unfortunately and sadly I agree with it.
                  Mind of criminal would be complicated but at least "Temptation" for money would differ by pay, I think.
                  I wonder how she (original post's security) had been feeling about her job before she stole it.
                  "I have good job, I don't want to lose it, I don't want to get fired"
                  or
                  "I don't care if I get fired. I can find another job of same income range at anywhere anytime."
                  it makes different for not only stealing, it would be being late for work, sleeping on post, disobey company policy, etc.

                  choice of industry is personal, but if she doesn't care what industry she would work, maybe she can make same amount of money at K-mart, McDonold's,any warehouse, pizza delivery, etc.

                  California minimum wage is now $8.00/hour.
                  Waitress and waiters make $8.00/hour plus tip, which maybe $40/night to $300/night.
                  someone working at Denny's maybe make $40/night tip but someone who is working at French restaurant in Beverly Hills maybe makes $300 or more /Night for tip.
                  customer's wallet may not be temptation for Beverly hills waitress but maybe for Denny's waitress.
                  Beverly hills waitress doesn't want to lose her job just for few hundred dollars.
                  but wallet with $500 cash maybe temptation for someone who makes $40/night.

                  to my eye, Belair patrol (ASD) seems "I don't want to lose this job by doing something stupidly wrongfuly action" type personal.
                  I'm curious how much they make.
                  I don't think they are paid for $9/hour.
                  Not many but few chauffeurs are armed to protect clients.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I agree with the statement about conducting a complete background check. I disagree with "to pay a good wage".

                    I used to own a security company, armed and unarmed, and had some very high risk clients. Thirty years ago I was paying the security officers, at one high risk client, a starting wage of $14.00/hr. I found I was attracting the same "talent pool" for jobs I was advertising for that were starting at $8-$9/hour. The trouble is, no matter how much you pay you are still pulling from the hiring pool within the geographical area.

                    No matter how much money I spent on recruiting - the hiring pool was the same. I fail to see where the mechanics of this has changed over the years.
                    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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                    • #11
                      Some facts:

                      1999 New Security Regs came into play in my state - asking for fingerprints and checks on qualifications (ie. licence from a Cornflakes packet scenario).

                      2002 It came into law (I was exempt until then) and as a result, hundreds of crimes were solved through the use of fingerprint taking done electronically with 20% of staff not renewing or being denied their licences.

                      2007 New laws came in again as those connected with criminals as associates or bikey gangs were denied a licence plus renewals of qualifications.

                      Has this driven up the wages for Security staff here ? No as there are some companies willing to pay alot less, sub contract and make 30 cents an hour profit per officer. Paying my own company staff more than what some staff were charged out got the better staff, but I also had to deal with clients who queried why they are paying $20.00 more an hour than the cheapest quote - only for me to identify that they can all speak english and are legally employed.
                      "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Silva Consultants View Post
                        http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm..._theft22m.html

                        Another piece of negative publicity for the security profession in my neck of the woods. $30K worth of sculptures sold for $100 in scrap value.... If the allegations are true, this is indeed very sad.

                        In addition to conducting background checks, what else can be done to prevent this type of incident from happening?
                        Proper supervision is as, or perhaps sometimes more, important in prevention and, in the worst case, early discovery of such activity by security officers than even background checks (although these too [u]must[/b] be done and done properly, of course).

                        It is really in the area of supervision that most security companies (and even proprietary security departments) fail most often and most spectacularly. Most security contracts do not address supervisory issues correctly even when they include supervisory clauses, and the few that do are rarely enforced adequately.

                        "Supervision" comes from the Latin (or Greek, I forget which) for "oversight". You have to manage and you have to supervise, and that means making it your business to know (not "think you know") what your people are doing! This might mean surprise visits, "black bag operations" to test readiness and fitness for duty, equipment/uniform inspections, fidelity tests, doubling back after a site visit, stand-off observation, covert video, shift-long ride-alongs, etc. A security officer has NO legal, moral or ethical right to believe or expect that he should be allowed to "work in secrecy", or without being observed by his superiors.

                        It also can involve some other things you might not think about - for instance, providing a hot line for the client's employees to report unusual (and also exemplary!) officer activity. It means paying close attention to logs and other reports turned in. In a large operation, it might even entail some data mining and computerized pattern recognition. It might mean reviewing client CCTV video, as well.

                        Here's something else to think about: Train your client's management team in what to look for in terms of "expected" or "appropriate" officer activity as opposed to anything else (or anything less). In other words, make your client your eyes and ears and let them know that you welcome their feedback and observations. What ARE the "red flags" for security officer misconduct, incidentally - do you know?

                        Finally - supervisors and managers for your company MUST OBSERVE THE COMPANY RULES AND REGULATIONS THEMSELVES!

                        Company owners, please - MANAGE YOUR PEOPLE! By creating a "culture of control", a "culture of oversight", a "culture of quality and standards enforced", you'll save yourself an enormous amount of grief. Might the occasional thief still slip through? Of course - nothing is perfect. But by doing this, you'll be stacking the odds in YOUR favor.
                        Last edited by SecTrainer; 01-26-2008, 11:03 AM.
                        "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                        "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                        "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                        "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

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                        • #13
                          Amen, SecTrainer, Amen!
                          Supervision does indeed come first from Latin and somewhat modified by French. Supervision is often lost when upper management or senior leadership decides supervisory roles. Quality control is a function of leadership and in many instances, falls by the wayside because those assigned these tasks are clueless.
                          As you correctly wrote, the leader must make it his business TO KNOW and not THINK HE KNOWS.
                          An interesting exercise to conduct is to ask the supervisor if a particular part of a system or process fails, what happens and what steps should be taken in mitigation? An inspector or surveyor should not be too surprised when he or she receives a glazed look from someone who is supposed to know.
                          Your response as usual was precise.
                          Enjoy the day,
                          Bill

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                          • #14
                            The problem with increasing supervision and other standards is that unless you're able to offer things that the companies with low standards don't (ie better wages) there's no incentive for the employees to follow them. If Company A is using time-clocks, has constant supervisor visits, regular uniform checks, etc., and pays $8/hr, while Company B could care less if you slept on site and only wore half your uniform while paying $8/hr, most people are going to want to work for Company B.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Oh, man! I got into it with more than one newbie; some who actually thought they were going to tell me not to come on their account! I asked them who in the hell gave them the idea they'd be working with no supervision at all. Then I had to let them know who I was, what my job consisted of, and that I could make their life a living hell if I wanted to!

                              Then I would politely inform them that they never would know if I'd be watching them or not, or who might be watching them and reporting their actions.

                              One pet peeve I had was to get some smart aleck newbie; the type who had no security experience at all, but in no time at all, thought they knew it all, and thought they were going to pull a fast one on me, especially those damned sleepers. I had my ways of putting them in their places.

                              I got such a laugh, at my first company(the one that really did me wrong). Stupid Guard Manager, rather than do her job, found it was easier to stick us shift supervisors on guard accounts to cover for that particular shift. Then she decided that it was easier than hiring a new man, despite the fact it kept the supervisor for the shift chained down, and not allowing him to do his job as he had to. We all raised hell about that, but got such a song and dance in return. We told her she'd be sorry, and soon.

                              Wasn't long, one night the Supv. was marooned on a guard account(which was more often than not at that point in time), when a guard at another account was caught sleeping by the client himself. Guard was drunker than Hogan's goat, and a bottle of hooch was on his desk, right in plain sight! Client called the company and raised holy hell, wanting to know why the supervisors hadn't caught this clown. Boy, did they have some fancy explaining and butt kissing to do, and we just howled at the news of that situation!!! Needless to say, that crap came to a sliding stop. At the closed door session of the guard, in where he was fired, when they asked him what the heck he thought he was doing bringing a bottle of hooch to his account, he matter of factly stated that he knew the Supervisor wasn't going to be out that night, so he could get away with it(or at least thought he could).

                              I swear to God, I don't know why I worked for that moronic company as long as I did.
                              Never make a drummer mad; we beat things for a living!

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