As we get into the busy holiday shopping season we are seeing an increase in the number of thefts at retail stores and small business. This can mean a big loss in revenue for small business owners despite the usually profitable season. We have pinpointed the five locations that are most frequently targeted by shoplifters with some tips and tricks for reducing theft in these areas.
1.- Store Entrances
This is a common target for “grab and run” shoplifters. Displays and clothing racks near entrances are left vulnerable to thieves who will simply grab whatever merchandise they can and run out before they are stopped by employees or security. To protect these areas we recommend having a visible camera and monitor at the entrance so that every person who enters the store knows that they are being filmed. We also recommend using RFID sensors at the entrance and having an employee or security guard monitor this area.
2.- Cash Registers
Unfortunately employee theft is nearly as common as shoplifters. A large amount of employee theft will happen at cash registers where many employees think their theft will go undetected by cameras. For monitoring cash registers we recommend using discreet, hidden surveillance cameras. With strategically placed, discreet cameras you can catch employees in the act of stealing money. High Definition cameras are also important in this environment so that you can get a clear picture of the employees face and even an exact count of how much they stole.
You want to be extra protective of your stockrooms and warehouses as these locations have a great amount of merchandise with many different people coming and going from them each day. Similar to the cash register, the stockroom is a prime target for employee theft. Again, make sure employees know they are being filmed by surveillance cameras and also make it clear that surveillance footage is monitored regularly. These locations can often be poorly lit so we recommend using cameras with IR LEDs to illuminate dark rooms and passages. Hidden cameras in smoke detectors and sprinklers can also be beneficial in catching theft.
4.- Store Perimeters
It is important to also monitor the exterior of your store such as sidewalks and parking lots. We often see burglars casing stores by posing as window shoppers or lying in wait in the parking lot until the store closes. Keeping a close eye on the traffic outside your store will help you to better protect against potential theft. Also, keeping your parking lot safe makes customers feel more comfortable and more likely to come to your store. High resolution cameras that can capture license plate numbers can be especially helpful in these situations.
This may seem like an odd target for theft but employees will often hide stolen merchandise in dumpsters until the end of their shift and then simply walk off with it. Keeping your back entrances and dumpsters monitored will help to close this avenue of theft for employees. Because dumpsters are usually outdoors we recommend using weatherproof security cameras with infrared night vision.