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How to Prevent Theft and Organized Crime in Your Retail Establishment

On October 27, 2022, In security,

Tips for Dealing With Theft in Retail

Dealing with theft in retail is an inevitability. In fact, retail establishments lose billions of dollars each year to theft. That’s right, billions. While many establishments accept “shrinkage” as just a part of business, it doesn’t have to be — at least not to the extent it is now.

If you know how to prevent theft in retail store situations, you can improve your bottom line and give your establishment a better chance to succeed. Here are some shoplifting prevention tips that can help.

To help keep your retail items safe, keep the following tips in mind

Keep Your Store Organized

If your inventory is all over your showroom, it’s much harder to keep track of it and much easier to steal. Make a habit of knowing the correct place for everything in your store and keeping it where it should be. That way, potential shoplifters know that the absence of an item is likely to be noticed.

When organizing, keep smaller, easily-pocketed items out of reach. You can also place impulse items behind glass, in a display in plain sight and close to the register, or in a case where the patron has to lift a lid to get at them.

Post Signs

Signs may not seem like much when it comes to shoplifting deterrents, but they can be surprisingly effective in reducing incidences of theft.

A sign or signs alerting potential shoplifters to the presence of cameras or listing penalties for shoplifting, especially near big-ticket items, can give a sense that there is a much higher level of security in the establishment. It can also bring the consequences of their actions to the front of the potential shoplifter’s mind

Avoid Profiling

Shoplifters can look like anybody. They may be young, old, black, white, male, or female. Do not make any assumptions about who is or is not likely to attempt to shoplift in your store.

Assume the best of your customers, but stay vigilant no matter who your clientele is, and instruct your employees to do the same.

Get to Know Your Employees

This idea can be fundamental, but it is often overlooked regarding loss prevention tips. Retail store employees are responsible for about a third of inventory losses. That’s a serious financial chunk to give up to people you should be able to trust.

Treat your employees fairly so that they don’t feel justified in supplementing their income by taking inventory home. Get to know them and engage them in the store’s success so they don’t want to take advantage of your trust.

Beware of Organized Crime

When most people think of organized crime, they probably think of fedora-clad mafia members demanding money, but today’s organized crime is a serious and much more sneaky problem in retail. It often consists of groups of criminals recruiting small-time thieves, sometimes from among the homeless and destitute, to steal for them.

These organized crime rings might use high-tech methods like bags lined with security tag blockers, and they may try schemes like having one person steal an item and having a different person exchange it at another store to get a receipt. If you suspect your store is the target of an organized crime ring, contact the police right away. Never attempt to engage these individuals with anyone except professional security personnel.

Invest in Security Measures

Good security measures often pay for themselves. Highly visible video surveillance cameras, burglar alarms, and monitoring devices can all dramatically reduce the amount of theft you experience in your retail establishment.

Combine these high-tech solutions with more traditional shoplifting prevention techniques like mirrors and visible, vigilant security guards, and you can really get your theft problem down to a manageable level.

Benefits Video Surveillance Has on Security 

  • Video Surveillance has the ability to capture a thief in the act. You can contact the authorities and get any stolen merchandise back.
  • Even better then catching a thief, an installed video surveillance often stops a crime before it happens. Criminals won’t take anything if they know they are being recorded.
  • Video Surveillance also helps for internal theft. Employees will be less apt to steal and they may also work more efficiently.


  • If possible, keep the number of entrances into and out of your business to a minimum. With one entrance your employees can keep a better eye on everyone coming in and leaving.
  • Place small, expensive items in locked cases. Also electronic alarm tags can be added to other items.

Reduce Retail Theft With a Complete Security System From Wayne Alarm

If you have a retail business you want to protect in Massachusetts, Wayne Alarm has a complete suite of security solutions to help. From high-definition video surveillance cameras with 24/7 monitoring to reliable burglar alarms and glass break sensors, we can design a security system for your business that meets your needs and your budget.

For over 50 years, Wayne Alarm has been protecting businesses in the Massachusetts area. We know the challenges that businesses face when it comes to security, and we know the best ways to deal with them. Contact us today for more information or a free quote on Wayne Alarm security systems.

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