Shoplifting | J. Patrick Murphy | LPT Security Consulting

Shoplifter Apprehension and Deterrence

We offer Loss Prevention consulting and training for retailers that need assistance in deterring and apprehending shoplifters.  Click here for our shoplifter prevention training fee schedule.

Shoplifters account for over 40%* of all losses to retailers and that’s WITH all of the security hardware, EAS Tagging, display cases,  Loss Prevention staff and CCTV!  How does a retailer make these losses decline without having to put everything behind a glass wall?  This is an age old problem for the small one-store company to the big box billion dollar corporations.  Regardless of your volume, the loss percentage still hits home. How can you properly protect your assets and reduce exposure to litigation involving a shoplifter?  Employee theft and shoplifting statistics, by Jack Hayes in retail will give you insight into the depth of the problem.

Creating An Anti-Theft Strategy

We have over 35 years of experience in retail loss prevention management, security assessments, and law enforcement.  We can assist your company to better protect your assets regardless if you are a single store or a multi unit company.

  • Review of current policies and procedures
  • Review of store layout and merchandise arrangement plan.
  • Review all physical security measures.
  • Review of “hot spots” for theft
  • Review current employee training and awareness.
  • Review of apprehension policies and training.

After a comprehensive review we develop a custom plan of action to assist reducing shrinkage through external theft.  The “custom” aspect is very important because we understand that the approach must be “Best for Business” and not necessarily based on “Best Practice”.  Simply stated, we understand budgetary and personnel differences.  Our recommendations will comprehensive but we will help identify the core needs.  Any program, hardware installation or training can be expanded over time as appropriate.  We are experts in the areas of:

  • Identifying the appropriate physical hardware that is available.  This includes
    CCTV System, Security Tagging Systems (EAS) and much more.
  • Creating an awareness program that is interactive and informative.
  • Developing a self-audit program to maintain an optimum level of strength.
  • Creating a culture to maximize the involvement of all employees.
  • Apprehending Shoplifters

If your company currently has a shoplifter apprehension policy and procedure we highly recommend that it be thoroughly reviewed.  When prevention fails and apprehension is appropriate specific procedures and training must be in place.  Apprehension is a facet of retail that has many serious consequences if it is accomplished improperly.

  • Do you have a documented apprehension and prosecution policy?
  • Do you know what to do if the individual does not want to return to the store?
  • Do you know what to do if the individual runs?
  • Do you have a policy regarding the use of handcuffs or chemical sprays during apprehensions?

Law suits that originate from a shoplifter’s injury or death are not uncommon.  Additionally customers and even innocent bystanders who are injured by fleeing shoplifters can sue your company.  Civil cases are more apt to be in favor of the plaintiff when apprehension policies are not in place or they are not followed.  The use of force is nearly always a factor.  Criminal charges have also been brought against individual loss prevention staff when serious injury or death has occurred in effecting an apprehension.

Litigation Services

We can not only assist a retailer establish proper policy and procedure, but we can also assist as a testifying expert witness in civil cases. Our experience includes cases involving Wal Mart, JC Penney, Sears, Burlington Coat Factory, and others.

Shoplifting has become a multimillion dollar business through organized crime.  Organized Retail Theft is at a level that most consumers have no understanding.  To see the top 50 shoplifted items click here. Special measures can be designed to thwart the wholesale theft of merchandise but it takes planning and implementation to be successful.  We can assist you in convenience stores, big box retail, retail pharmacy, specialty stores and boutiques.

Deaths From Shoplifting Apprehensions

From our own research:  Shoplifting related deaths are rare but they do occur even among the most highly trained.  Anyone attempting to stop a shoplifter must understand the full ramifications of their actions and the dangers they face.