Not all internal/employee theft involves removing Checkpoint tags and stealing merchandise. Frequently an employee steals cash, especially if multiple employees work out of the same cash register. One of the most difficult internal investigations I had was a suspected cash theft case. Our store had been opened for less than a year and I was still a new Loss Prevention Manager for our company. At that time we only concerned ourselves with cash shortages of ten dollars or more, though we did track all shortages. I had a cashier who had been with us for quite some time and I had not had many concerns about her. I was keeping busy with several large merchandise theft cases involving an employee theft ring in our store. That group had been deactivating Checkpoint tags on merchandise and stuffing comforters with the unprotected merchandise. They were ringing up the comforters and other small items and voiding the smaller items from the transactions, bypassing our Checkpoint Security Systems. Due to the nature of that investigation, small cash shortages were not on my radar. After I closed the theft ring case I was looking for other theft activity and noticed a cash shortage trend that was tracking to one particular cashier.
I spent many hours reviewing videotapes and conducting live surveillances of this cashier but could not find any signs of wrong doing. I then started to see even ten and twenty dollar shortages appearing. At that time, our store tried to keep no more than three cashiers on a register a day, though it did not always happen. Despite this, the shortages continued to track to this one woman and I was growing concerned over the dollar amounts we were “losing”. Despite my best efforts nothing was making any sense. I never saw anything unusual, not even a possible attempt to work around the Checkpoint Security System with voids or deactivations.
One day during a live surveillance, I had one camera zoomed in on the cashier’s till and another aimed to see her at her register. The cashier had a transaction in which she took a twenty dollar bill as payment and placed it in the till, but she did not put down the clip that holds bills in place. I noticed when the next transaction took place and the drawer opened, the twenty had moved out of the slot and towards the back of the drawer. I followed the next several cash transactions and observed that with each opening and closing of the drawer, the bill moved further back until finally it had disappeared altogether. I immediately had the cashier supervisor move the cashier from the register. I opened the register and removed the entire drawer. Inside I found the ten along with several other bills stuffed behind the drawer. I then checked every register and tracked the amounts found to the shortages the cashier had appeared to cause. All of the money ended up being accounted for and my “internal case” turned out to be a non-case.
Finally, my shortest and funniest dishonest employee interview involved a new cashier who had started stealing cash shortly after being employed. It did not take me long to identify all of her theft and request permission to conduct the interview. One day I watched the cashier until she took money from her register and placed it in her pocket. Rather than ask for a manager to escort her to the office for the interview, I walked up to the cashier and told her to come with me and to keep her hands out of her pocket. She said “You got me” and I said, “I know” and we went to complete the interview. THAT was the fastest admission I ever had from an employee.
Checkpoint Security Systems along with Checkpoint Tags and labels are excellent for deterring employee theft of merchandise. They may not help with cash or financial transaction fraud but if they are preventing shoplifting and internal cases, you can focus more energy on preventing the cash theft and credit card fraud in your store.
Get more information on Checkpoint Security Systems, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 today.