No place of business, including the rental industry, can guarantee your safety from the criminal acts of others. Property Management companies tend to make it difficult, if not impossible, to understand what level of crime is both on the property and in the neighborhood. What you are likely to hear as a prospective tenant is: We don’t provide security. We cannot guarantee your safety.” They may not have security personnel on property but they do provide certain aspects of security and safety. Lights, locks, gates, maintaining the property’s appearance, notifying tenants of crimes (at their discretion), and so forth.
CrimeReports (www.crimereports.com) is a good resource for crime data across the US. Keep in mind that there is no magic number that has to be passed before an address is dangerous. Everyone interprets “safety” differently but having information is critical to that decision.
CrimeReports is free but it should not be considered the absolute crime tool. These are crimes that are reported and 40% don’t get reported. It is estimated that 60% of sexual assaults are not reported.
Talk to the property manager with this information in your hand and ask about the crime. They are not required to tell you anything. That’s why you should already have the information to show them!
Sometimes employees either commit robberies of their employer or they are the “brains” behind it. I read a story long ago that stated employees were responsible for over 70% of business robberies. I remember thinking how dumb it would be to do such a thing but, then again, stranger things happen. So here’s a warning to you HR-types: Don’t read this.
I got a call from one of my Dallas Regional Managers late one night to report a horrible armed robbery at one of our stores. The store manager was closing and was forced back into his store to open the safe. The suspect stabbed the manager in the abdomen in the process and was now in surgery. The injury was life-threatening. The safe: cleaned out. Loss: around $4000.00.
Joe closed the store and sent the employees home. He straightened up his office, locked the safe and left. As he turned from locking the door “a huge black guy” showed up and forced him at knife point back into the store. He was terrified and nervous and had a hard time remembering the combination to the safe. The suspect grew impatient and stabbed him. Wounded, he bravely got the safe open and the suspect left with the money.
Joe was bleeding profusely and immediately passed out. He was going into shock. After about 10 minutes he regained consciousness and called 911. He survived but, according to doctors, he was near death when he was brought in.
As usual, my department investigated crimes of all kinds and worked well with local law enforcement. The crime scene was a horrible bloody mess. Except for the attack-weapon, a Ginsu knife, the office was as tidy as a pin. The Regional on scene found it odd that a bad guy would bring a Ginsu knife to a robbery. Then while talking to the Detective, he sees an end cap of Ginsu knives near the office . There on the shelf was an open box with one knife missing…yep…the one on the floor in the office.
Of course, he thought; the guy came in, shoplifted the knife, and stood around outside to rob the manager. Or…no, this couldn’t be the case…the manager staged the robbery and stabbed himself! As it turned out, that was, in fact the case. Joe had this crime perfectly planned but had never stabbed himself so this whole “stab myself thing” would be just a guess.
When he stabbed himself, he had already taken the money to his car and drove to a nearby friend’s apartment. He hid the money there and returned to the store. So far, so good. When he stabbed himself he did not know just how painful that was going to be and he misjudged the strength of his thrust. Result: excruciating pain and immediate heavy blood loss. Luckily, as he was bleeding out, he regained consciousness long enough to call 911.
He subsequently failed the Dallas police polygraph. They money was never recovered even after police received a tip as to where it might be. The one thing that tripped up the whole plan was that, based on his description of the events, he was outside when attacked and forced back into the store. For that to be true he would have had to set the burglar alarm. That also meant that he would have had to turn it off upon re-entering the store. None of that happened.
Human Resources was all atwitter. How can we fire this poor man after having been stabbed, etc. There was no confession, no video, no recovery of the money. After several explanations, Joe was sent packing for “failure to protect company assets”. Worked for me.
As for the Ginsu knife set…the remaining knives went into the trash after they were removed from the book inventory.
Employers: employees will be your worst liability and will go to extreme lengths to commit some acts. Never ask why. They can never explain it.
Cargo theft in the north Texas regions is fueled by DFW Airport and the massive hubs of freight lines in the area. The trucks also feed company warehouses which is another favorite target of bad guys looking for a huge haul. The thefts are as well planned and executed as a Navy Seal raid. Not only do they employ surveillance of a target, they stay at the hotels of truckers and mingle to obtain intelligence. They’ll follow a load across the country and hit it when it is the most vulnerable. All done under the watchful eye of security cameras.
Warehouse alarm systems, as are all hardwired systems, are connected through phone lines to a central station. Cut the phone lines and the alarm company has no more connectivity. With the advent of cellular back up alarms, cutting phone lines is no longer effective. Of course for every security improvement, there is a modified attack to counter them. Now the bad guys can use cell phone jammers to kill that signal.
We all pay a premium on goods we buy due to theft. Security Experts in Texas can educate businesses on the most effective means of protecting their inventory. However, we are always just one step behind the latest workaround for our efforts.
The Dallas Police Department offers training for apartment property managers and property management companies for managing a security program/crime prevention program the their properties. The Gold Star Program is also known as the Multi-Family Crime Free program offered across the country through various police departments. www.dallaspolice.net/community/goldStarProgram.html.
As a Dallas-area Security Expert and Consultant I am confident you will learn a great deal. This program trains managers about the principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) which are the basic elements of a crime prevention program. CPTED initiation at any type of facility is designed to increase visibility by reducing visual obstructions, increasing awareness to how properties are accessed from roadways as well as access to certain areas within the property, and about territoriality. Territoriality is the basic practice of keeping the property maintained by keeping it clean, addressing exterior maintenance issues, and providing potential criminals with the impression that they would be discovered more easily.
For more information contact
Dallas Police Department
Neighborhood Policing Team
Senior Corporal Beaty
6969 McCallum Blvd
Dallas, TX 75252
Shoplifting is a blight upon retailers. Shoplifting is responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in loss to retailers annually. This crime is also firmly entrenched in organized crime that feeds stolen merchandise around the world. The daily risks involved are high stakes.
This information primarily intended for Loss Prevention personnel and store personnel who make apprehensions. The information is anecdotal at best and is intended as awareness to a growing problem. There are no published statistics, even through OSHA, that quantify injuries to store personnel. There is no body of work that accumulates data regarding deaths or serious injury in shoplifter related incidents. These events do happen and with unfortunate frequency.
This summary is ongoing and does not focus on any particular retailer. We do not have any method to determine the accuracy of any content of the articles herein. We have offered no professional opinion regarding of these cases. However, from a Security Expert’s point of view, when a shoplifter dies as a result of an apprehension made by so called “store security”, litigation is sure to follow.
When a store Loss Prevention/Asset Protection associate is murdered, the resounding question is “Why”?
Organizations such as the Loss Prevention Foundation and the Loss Prevention Research Counsel have studied violence in the industry and continue to support awareness and training. I offer the following insights however, this is not meant to be a blanket statement about every retailer nor their employees. Rather it reflects on the fact that despite all efforts, good people make poor decisions. Bad people simply don’t care.
When a Loss Prevention/Asset Protection Associate is murdered:
A culture exists where apprehension count is the barometer of performance. Further, a recovery of merchandise without an apprehension has minimal importance.
Training varies throughout the industry however, documentation of training is absent or incomplete.
The limited use of force, such as redirection only, is disregarded by LP Management. Full contact take-downs and foot chases are still tolerated.
Training for a reasonable use of force is virtually non-existent. This cannot be taught in a class room or through a compliant training partner.
The individual LP/AP associate is simply known to be aggressive and the behavior has never been corrected.
Death by asphyxiation where suspect is restrained in a manner that does not allow them to breathe.
Death by agent/employee attempting to make apprehension of a person in a moving vehicle.
Deadly force by Police and armed contract security guards (death of guards) gives insight into the violent nature of apprehensions.
Police officer deaths: 2.
Wal Mart Greeters: 2.
Not included in this list are deaths attributed to police chases of shoplifters.
Serious injuries far outreach the number of deaths and the use of Tasers and chemical sprays (Mace) is growing in frequency by shoplifters.
2000 – 2017: 84
Top 4 Retailers
Wal-Mart – 30, K-Mart – 7, CVS 5, Rite Aid 4
Our retail loss prevention services offer employee theft investigation training, shoplifting apprehension training, use of force training, shrink initiatives creation, physical security assessments, asset protection, and warehouse security surveys. We also provide security expert witness services for either plaintiff or defense trial attorneys.
Regardless of your business sector size of your company, employee theft has happened and will occur in the future. Theft can be in the form of proprietary information, data, company supplies (not a pen), cash, stock manipulation, and the list is endless. However there are some common covenants that should be in place. Policy and procedure is important to running a small business or multimillion dollar corporation. They are the rules of the road. There cannot be a more important set of guidelines than how employee theft is handled within the company. Contact us for a free phone consultation, click here for our number.
Read LPToday’s Other Guides on Employee Theft and Investigations Training: