STORES Magazine - January 2010 - (Page 62)

LOSS PREVENTION / POLICY Stick to the Plan Safety, liability at stake when theft occurs BY DAVID P. SCHULZ heory and application; policy and procedures; chicken and egg. In many cases, it really doesn’t make much difference which comes first. When, for example, it comes to asset protection/loss prevention/retail security, the important thing is that there is a policy on suspected shoplifting, and that the policy is supported with written procedures and training for both security personnel and store associates. T There have been some vivid reminders lately about the importance of having – and adhering to — such operational basics. In one case, a California couple was arrested after boasting on the “Dr. Phil” TV show that they had made as much as $100,000 a year shoplifting and amassed as much as $1 million in stolen goods. The groundwork for the couple’s arrest was laid when an associate at a Target store in Vista, Calif., identified the couple as suspects in a shoplifting case. When that employee saw the couple — identified as Laura and Matthew Eaton — on television, he called Det. Dave Hillen of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, setting in motion a September raid by the San Diego Regional Fraud Task Force involving the sheriff’s department, agents from the San Diego office of the U.S. Secret Service and other agencies. Not all incidents are so straightforward, however. A male shopper walked out of a Broomfield, Colo., Best Buy store with merchandise a security guard suspected he hadn’t paid for. According to news reports, the security guard followed the suspect out of the store and into the parking lot; another store asset protection employee followed and assisted when the security guard tackled the suspect. The suspect pulled a knife and in the ensuing melee, cut a store manager when she came out to determine what was going on. The security guard and LP associate were fired for not following company procedures, which prohibit confronting suspected shoplifters outside the store. “We have a long-standing policy that we do not address issues related to the termination of any former employee,” said Best Buy public relations manager Kelly Groehler in an e-mail to STORES. “That said, I can tell you that employees who work in our stores are aware, and trained, on the standard operating procedures for dealing with shoplifting or theft — which include ceasing pursuit of suspected shoplifters once they exit the store. These procedures are in place first and foremost for the safety of our em- POLICY CONSIDERATIONS • Staffing levels • Training • Store location • Environmental aspects of the perimeter • Availability of mall security or police assistance 62 STORES / JANUARY 2010 WWW.STORES.ORG http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - January 2010

STORES Magazine - January 2010
Editor's Page
President’s Page
Retail People
CEO Profile
20 Ideas Worth Stealing
Digital Coupons
Customer Loyalty
Labor Scheduling
Data Management
Human Resources
Retail Fraud
Loeb Retail Letter
ARTS Update
NRF News
Point of View
Retail Industry Calendar
End Cap
Global Powers of Retailing

STORES Magazine - January 2010