When you think about merchandise protection and the importance of retail theft prevention have you ever considered the other benefits your business gets from using Checkpoint tags? While it isn’t necessarily an intended consequence, stores that employ measures to deter shoplifters also help protect their employees and customers. I have been involved in Retail Loss Prevention and retail in general for over 27 years. I have personally had to apprehend shoplifters who have had marijuana on their person, and were high when busted. I have fought with shoplifters who were high on cocaine, crack and at least one who was high on methamphetamine. I have apprehended shoplifters with brass knuckles and knives concealed in pockets, waistbands and shoes. I had one instance where a shoplifter lifted his shirt when I went to stop him, showing me the handle of a gun in the front of his pants. The implied threat was obvious, stop him and it could be deadly. There are two reasons for using Checkpoint tags, first to deter theft and second to detect it.
Anti-shoplifting tags have electronic article surveillance (EAS) capability built into them and use radio frequency waves to ensure protected merchandise will be detected by EAS towers. When a thief attempts to walk out with merchandise they are trying to steal, the towers pick up the signal sent out by the tags and an alarm in the tower sounds out a sharp, loud alert. Employees of the store who have been trained on proper alarm response go to the doors and retrieve the product. Often the thief will drop the item or make an excuse that they forgot they had it with them. The first thing the towers and tags do is deter the thieves who are well aware of what towers can do and prefer to avoid stores that use retail theft prevention measures.
Consider that, shoplifters prefer to avoid stores that are using Checkpoint tags. If there are other locations that are nearby where they can go to get merchandise to steal and reduce the chance they will be detected they will do so. Likewise, they also prefer to go to stores where there is little or no customer service. If no one is going to bother them it is easier to get away with theft. How does this keep your customers and employees safer? Not all but many shoplifters are into theft to support their habits. As I mentioned I have had quite a few that I have apprehended that had drugs on their person or where definitely under the influence of drugs. If they don’t want caught they are going other places so your customers are safer.
Another danger posed by shoplifters to your employees, customers and even the shoplifter or someone with them is when they attempt to flee the store. I recall one incident in which I was attempting to apprehend a shoplifter (who I later learned had illegal drugs on her) and she had her young daughter with her. This woman not only fought with me and my partner, she also grabbed her little girl by the arm and tried to run into the parking lot with her, cars driving by, the little girl screaming and us attempting to talk her out of running. I’ve had shoplifters run and jump into their car and speed out of the parking lot nearly hitting other cars and pedestrians. More than one shoplifter has sped out of the parking lot backwards to avoid security cameras or me from seeing their license plate number. In each of these situations people are endangered by the careless acts of a criminal trying to avoid prosecution. The stores I worked in used some retail theft prevention devices and Checkpoint tags but there are many more options on the market today. Protecting more merchandise means reduced options for theft and that means shoplifters go elsewhere.
Shoplifters are a drain on profits and a potential danger to those around them. Keeping thieves out of your stores means your customers feel safer and are more willing to browse and spend time shopping. That all adds up to more money for you. Use retail theft prevention devices on all of your goods and send shoplifters packing.
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