Signs To Help You Recognize A Shoplifter

retail store shoplifting preventionAs the manager or owner of a retail store, you need to be able to recognize what a shoplifter looks like. Even if you have a security system and surveillance cameras in place, or a security guard in your store, it’s important to be able to recognize the signs yourself. If you are aware of the signs you will be able to properly train your employees to as well which means you will be able to protect your inventory from unnecessary loss.  Total Security has over 15 years of experience in providing security services to retail stores on Long Island, New York City, and New Jersey. Total Security can help you identify gaps in your security, and help to implement those measures in your store.

According to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, approximately $35 million in goods are stolen from retailers every single day which means $35 billion in goods are stolen every year from retailers. The good news is there are some common signs that indicate you may have a shoplifter in your store. Below, we provided some tips for identifying a potential shoplifter in your store.

Large Groups

It’s very common for shoplifters to work in groups. This is a tactic used to distract employees and divert their attention elsewhere. Be especially wary if a group walks into your store and begins to create a disturbance. If this occurs, assign multiple employees to keep an eye on the members of the group.

People Hovering or Loitering

People who tend to shoplift tend to loiter for extended periods of time looking and waiting for the right opportunity to act. They may hang out inside or outside of the store. If you notice someone doing this, approach them and ask if you can help them with something. This is often enough to deter them from shoplifting at that moment.

Nervous People

Another sign of a possible shoplifter is someone who is displaying nervousness which can mean they are up to something suspicious. Look for someone who is avoiding eye contact, pacing or constantly picking up items that they don’t seem interested in buying.

Wearing Loose Clothing or Carrying a Large Bag

Look for suspicious pieces of clothing or things that seem out of place. A large bag might be normal for a woman or parent with children, but a person shopping alone with an oversized or empty bag might be cause for concern. Also, keep an eye out for people wearing large coats or sweatshirts in warm weather. Especially if you think it’s large enough to hide items under.

Leaving With Fewer Items After Using The Changing Room

The changing or fitting rooms are ideal locations for theft to take place since as a store owner you cannot place a security camera inside them. Make sure the fitting rooms are attended at all times and that attendants carefully count how many items shoppers enter and leave with.

Additional Shoplifting Prevention tips

In addition to the signs of a shoplifter listed above, it’s also a good idea to implement the following security measures in your store:

  • Install security systems in your store especially things like using anti-theft tags and alarms
  • Install a video surveillance system
  • Hire a security guard if you own a larger or multi-level store
  • Train employees to recognize suspicious behavior and know how to approach potential shoplifters
  • Create a protocol for what employees should do if they notice someone is shoplifting
  • Optimize your store in a way that discourages shoplifting – for example keeping the store uncluttered, clean and organized.

Total Security oversees the entire process when installing commercial security systems including the initial installation, monitoring, continued service and maintenance of the system. Total Security offers every one of our clients free lifetime technical support and are always on call. We are the most trusted name in the industry when it comes to security and are A+ Rated by the BBB for providing security services and products to businesses on Long Island, NYC, and New Jersey.