Why Employees Steal In Retail Loss Prevention, Atlanta

Over the years many of the employees caught in retail loss prevention theft investigations that I have conducted have given me a lot of reasons why they did it. The most common is “as a favor to help friends out” or commonly called peer pressure. Think of it, an employee commits a felony that will land them in serious trouble to help out a buddy.

My fellow loss prevention and security professionals have heard this so many times. Why does the employee do it? There are several factors. One being age. We mostly hear this from 17 to 22 year olds. I believe that this is because they think that fitting in with so-called “friends” is more important than anything else. This thought process is pretty alien to the rest of us until you start thinking back to your own life at that age. You may have started smoking or did something else that you now look back and say, “what was I thinking?”. All of this in order to “fit in”.

Employees in that age group also tend to feel like they are bullet proof and that they wont get caught. In that situation I always laugh about the security and loss prevention investigations I conducted where a 19 year old cashier thought that she was the only one that ever thought up refund fraud, cash theft, void fraud or some other retail loss prevention theft that I had already put 600 people prior to her in jail for.

There was one retail loss prevention investigation in particular that I think is a good example. Two 18 year olds, male and female who were boyfriend/girlfriend decided that they would steal merchandise and cash to the tune of several thousand dollars. They thought that no one knew what they were doing. Clearly they believed that they were smarter that the rest of us including the store manager.

The manager contacted me to start a retail loss prevention investigation after he noticed variances in both cash and merchandise. In a very short time I had the evidence pulled together and narrowed it down to the two eighteen year olds. The interviews with each of them revealed the reason, they were stealing for each other (isn’t love grand?) and they didn’t think anyone would notice. They got to spend the next two years on probation paying back the business with interest and 50 hours of community service each (separate community service details as the Judge thought the love needed a break).

Your loss prevention security program must take this type of reason in to account if you want to keep your money on the bottom line. You must make clear to employees of all ages that you will not tolerate any theft of any type. The only thing they are allowed to leave the store with that they did not bring in is the air in their lungs. The rest is hands off.

Security and loss prevention professionals help you to balance loss prevention with sales, operations and human resource issues and concerns.

For more information on loss prevention security , retail loss prevention or loss prevention in general please contact us in Atlanta at: security and loss prevention or call 1.866.914.2567

LPSI is the Atlanta area loss prevention security experts.

Posted September 25th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized

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