A day in the life of a Loss Prevention Agent – Atlanta Georgia

I remember being a loss prevention agent . Several years ago, I worked my first loss prevention job as a loss prevention agent for a small chain of stores. My job required me to conduct surveillance on customers suspected of theft. When I witnessed these customers conceal merchandise and exit the store, I stepped in.

Every Saturday, I would plan the upcoming week. What areas of the business did I need to focus? Were the shampoos, aspirins, and liquor or baby products ok? I checked maps of all of the hotspots at whatever location I worked. For this week, I’m working a hard hit store in a metropolitan area. Last week, the manager told me about a group of shoplifters that had been hitting his store between 7 and 9pm. This group worked the store like it was their job. 2 of the females of the group would distract the manager while the 2 males and third female filled baskets full of merchandise. Then, while the manager was occupied with the 2 females, the other team would wheel the full shopping cart out of the store.

As a loss prevention agent , I gathered information and built my strategy. I knew the suspected thieves always came between 7pm and 9pm. Now, I narrowed down the days to Tuesdays and Fridays. I planned my work schedule for those two days. Suspecting these people would hit the merchandise with a high street and resale value, I watched areas like health and beauty, baby products and other street valuable merchandise.
Tuesday, at about 8pm, while I was working shoplift detail, the group of suspects entered the store. The manager notified me immediately.

From a distance, I saw a male and female speaking with the manager, quickly I ran to my observation area and quickly found the other 3 suspects. I watched as they filled the basket with merchandise. Having a relationship with local police department, I had a car waiting outside to help. As the suspects exited, I notified the waiting police car. The suspects were stopped, arrested and booked for grand theft.

As a loss prevention agent , I did my job and was excited about it.

For more information visit us at loss prevention agent or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia

Posted October 29th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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Time to bring in the Loss Prevention Investigator – Atlanta Georgia

As a loss prevention investigator working for a new company, my goal is their goal, keep them profitable.

This store was about a 15,000 square foot selling hardline and softline goods in the specialty market. Business was good for the most part. The store was cranking out great sales. It seemed profitable. For this reason, the management team cut corners and went outside of policy in a few areas in attempts to maintain the sales momentum. In the process, they took their eye off of the operations. In a matter of days, 2 regular employees were suspected of theft.

When this information was brought to the attention of the managers, they didn’t believe it. In fact, I was told… “That’s impossible” and “No, not him, he’s just a good salesman”. As a seasoned Loss Prevention Investigator I knew the facts never lie. Initially, the managers did not want me to speak with the employees; they were worried that my actions would create a negative work environment for these employees and all of the others. Insisting, I showed each manager the evidence I had uncovered. In agreement, I sat and interviewed the first employee.

Employee #1 was asked about losses he had caused since being with the company. Initially, he denied any wrongdoing and after about 10 minutes of questioning, he stated he had been involved with at least one instance of theft. As I dug deeper, the employee admitted that over the last 5 years, he had been involved with Employee #2 in taking merchandise and cash from the store. Employee #1 went on to say he started the theft because of an unresolved disagreement he had with a manager and felt the company owed him.

Employee # 2 admitted to theft as well. During his interview, he said he got involved with employee #1 because they had been fed up with the actions of management. Altogether, these two employees caused losses in excess of $200,000 over 5 years.

As a Loss Prevention Investigator , I provide the support and position needed by companies to resolve instore loss related issues. A loss prevention investigator also provides a sense of support and well being to management and associates alike.

For more information on loss prevention investigator or consultants visit us at loss prevention investigator or call us at 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia

Posted October 28th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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Does your business need a Loss Prevention Investigator? – Atlanta

As a loss prevention investigator , I understand the needs of the business. Taking a tactful approach when conducting internal investigations was part of the job, and I knew this.

As a loss prevention investigator I was contacted by a chain of small specialty grocery stores having problems with losses in two of their 5 stores. After a recent inventory, the management was concerned about a large loss that was reported.

I started my investigation by speaking with upper management and district level staff. Many of these managers did not believe the losses were caused by the employees, and were certain their vendors were “ripping them off.” Of course, being a loss prevention investigator , you never assume anything. I knew vendors can cause loss, but not nearly as much as a rotten employee. Keeping my opinions to myself, I continued my investigation.

I met with the General Store Manager and reviewed various inventory reports and counts showing which areas of merchandise or categories suffered the biggest losses. In this case, it was clear the liquor department was hardest hit.

Working with the corporate office, I arranged a time to enter the store (on an overnight shift) when employees and management were not around. I installed covert camera equipment in the receiving department to monitor merchandise (specifically liquor) coming into the store. On the very first day of surveillance, I witnessed the relationship between the receiving clerk and a vendor delivering the liquor shipment.

Initially, their meeting looked like a meet between to buddies. After further review, I saw the vendor hand the clerk a bottle of liquor. The clerk put this bottle under a desk near where he kept his personal belongings. Later, the clerk placed the liquor bottle in his sweatshirt he was carrying and walked out of the store.

I decided to interview this employee. Subsequently he admitted to theft and spilled the beans on his vendor buddy and 2 other store employees that had been taking liquor and other products from the store regularly. The managers were in disbelief. Immediately, the recommendations were made to standardize policy on employee bag checks, and a revision of their receiving policies.

As a loss prevention investigator , I am proud of my work and always make sure my employer remains profitable.

For more information contact us at loss prevention investigator or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta

Posted October 26th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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Loss Prevention Consultants, experts in boosting profits – Atlanta Georgia

Loss prevention consultants offer a variety of services, but most importantly they provide a piece of mind.

A business in the southwest was experiencing numerous problems hitting their bottom line. Shoplifters had taken over the store, employees were stealing, and accidents were on the rise. The management felt helpless and the corporate office was uninformed. They were on the brink of collapse.
The company decided they needed help and looked into loss prevention consultants . Over the next few weeks, the loss prevention consultants reviewed the business. Identifying the main areas of concern and executing their plan of action, the outcome looked hopeful.

First, they worked internal investigations and identified several dishonest employees at multiple locations. Interviews of these dishonest employees lead to the recovery of several thousands of dollars in merchandise. While the investigations continued, the consultants recommended the hiring and placement of a loss prevention agent. The loss prevention agent worked different hours and spent most of his time in hardest hit parts of the store. Over the next several weeks, he made several apprehensions. An additional loss prevention agent was hired and the apprehensions of shoplifters continued.

Over the next few weeks the team of loss prevention professionals working the stores were able to significantly impact losses and provide the business with what it had been lacking over the last few months and years,  ATTENTION.

The loss prevention consultants also looked at the rate of accidents in stores. Seeing a dramatic increase in employee injury cases and customer slip/trip and falls, the store was hurting. Quickly implementing new safety recommendations and training, the stores saw improvement. Workers compensation claims were down and positive employee attitudes were up.

Today, this chain of supermarkets has grown from 5 to 25 in the last 10 years and has a very positive outlook.

For more information about loss prevention agent or loss prevention investigator visit us at loss prevention consultants or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia

 

Posted October 22nd, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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Catching the bad guy – A Loss Prevention Agent at Work – Atlanta

Employing a loss prevention agent reduces loss from shoplifters in your business.  We would like to think that the individuals that choose to shop in our business would be honest, hardworking folks looking to spend their money on our quality products.  But, unfortunately, there are those that would prefer to have the “five finger discount” on items they’d like to own but do not want to pay for – your items.

A loss prevention agent is an employee that can be trained to survey your sales floor, watching for shoplifters.  Your business should have a reliable loss prevention policy in place before creating this type of program.  A loss prevention agent can dress like your average shopper, but can watch for any type of suspicious activity, so that activity can be reported to management.  Or, in the case of a shoplifter within your business, the loss prevention agent can make a shoplifter apprehension and seek prosecution of the thief.

Loss prevention consultants can be brought into your business to help you create a good loss prevention/asset protection policy.  These experts are invaluable, and years of experience as well as in depth knowledge can work for a business, in order to implement a viable and worthwhile program.

A business owner may notice that his or her business is experiencing a significant loss of profit due to lost merchandise.  This is a wake-up call to the business owner – a loss prevention program needs to be implemented.  Loss prevention consultants or a loss prevention agent can do the job.

For more information about loss prevention agent contact us at: loss prevention consultants or call 1.866.914.2567.

Posted October 21st, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Loss Prevention Agent, Uncategorized
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Implications of Internal Theft & A Loss Prevention Investigator – Atlanta

Do you know what internal theft looks like? Is there a certain way internal theft is supposed to look?

Well, not really. Theft is theft. It looks the same no matter what environment you work in. When an employee or employees are involved in the act of theft, it doesn’t look good.

Retailers have been wrestling with the dishonest employee since the beginning of the retail world. Looking back to ancient times, street vendors had to deal with employee theft. Although a much harsher punishment was given, the outcome was the same, lost profits.

Now the million dollar question, does your business have employee theft? It’d be a safe bet to say YES. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard managers or business owners say they have no dishonest employees or that their business does not suffer from internal theft. Yet looking at their books, they are losing thousands if not millions of dollars yearly.

Look at the key indicators of theft. Statistically, the under 21 years of age, part time male employee is most likely to be involved in acts of theft and dishonesty. Yet, those with tenure seem to cause the most loss. What kind of merchandise do you sell? Is your business a cash business?

Having a set standard or policy and procedures in place can help deter the possibility of internal theft but it won’t eliminate it.

The best solution would be to put in a loss prevention investigator to truly identify where your dishonest employees are.  A loss prevention investigator will be able to quickly recognize losses and offer the best solution based on the needs of the business.

Specializing in internal investigations, the loss prevention investigator will conduct surveillance, interview witness employees, perform covert CCTV work, and build a strong investigation. Upon identifying a suspected employee, the investigator will interrogate the employee, aiming for a positive outcome… the admission of theft.

For more information contact us at loss prevention investigator or call 1.866.914.2567

Posted October 18th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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What can a Loss Prevention Agent do for your business? – Atlanta

A loss prevention agent can be a very valuable tool for any retailer. Specializing in the apprehension of shoplifters, an agent can dramatically impact shrink and protect profits.

In the world of retail, shoplifters are an everyday occurrence. The average retailer is unaware of what a shoplifter looks like and may focus their efforts in the wrong areas. As an example, I worked for a retailer that automatically assumed all the homeless or “gang” member types entering his store were taking merchandise. His efforts of monitoring these customers proved nothing. In the meanwhile, the average looking, regular customer and the customer in the three piece suit were the ones really taking his business to the cleaners. He was stereotyping, a sometime critical mistake when addressing shoplifting activity in a store.

It is the responsibility of the professional loss prevention agent to identify and apprehend the shoplifter. He/she will do this by systematically working the store. At the start of their shift, the loss prevention agent will walk the sales floor, looking for empty packages and other signs of customer theft. Planning their shift around the aisles where the empty packages originated, working to catch the shoplifter.

Now, once the apprehension of the shoplifter has taken place, the agent will need to make the decision to prosecute or issue a civil demand based on the needs of the business. Is there a benefit to prosecuting? Would the business be better suited to issue a civil demand? What is best? Decisions like these can really affect several aspects of the business. Sending shoplifters out with the local authorities can benefit a business where shoplift activity and employee theft is a problem. However, issuing a civil demand can get the agent back out onto the sales floor and on the hunt for the next shoplifter.

None of these decisions should be taken lightly, and with the right agent, your store or business will remain profitable.

So, what can a loss prevention agent do for your business?

For more information about loss prevention consultants or loss prevention investigator contact us at loss prevention agent or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta

 

Posted October 14th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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Loss Prevention Investigator and Management Attitudes – Atlanta

I have been a loss prevention investigator for close to 30 years now. In the course of those years I have conducted over 2300 interviews and interrogations of employees suspected of theft.

There never seems to be a lack of people that feel like they can beat the system. Some do. Most do not, if management is not asleep at the switch. Many times business managers feel like they are “to busy” to consider employee theft. Many are afraid to even approach it. Employee theft is no different than any other business problem. You have to meet it head on and push your way through.

I remember a case where a store manager told me that he didn’t have any staff that would steal “from him”. He had convinced himself that everyone either loved him or were so afraid of him that they would not steal. What made this so incredible is that store paperwork clearly showed that something was really wrong in his refunds.

I conducted an investigation and at the end of two days six employees went to jail for felony theft. They stole through refund fraud, merchandise theft and outright cash theft. The manager who was of the “old school” didn’t last much after that.

My personal opinion is that at any given time one out of ten of your employees are stealing. Most credible studies clearly show that employee theft is higher than that.

But the real issue here is management. If the people in these positions are not qualified, trained or the company does not have enforced policy and procedures in place then there will be inventory shrinkage and theft.

When ever I am giving a talk at a regional or national conference or even for a client I will inevitably have some one come up to me and in an almost challenging fashion say that “I don’t have people that steal working for ME” As I am patiently listening I am thinking how naïve this person is and how long will it be before they need a loss prevention investigator ?

For more information about loss prevention consultants or employee theft contact us at loss prevention investigator or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta

Posted October 12th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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Combating loss with the help of a Loss Prevention Agent

A loss prevention agent  is a trained professional who can assist businesses in identifying the cause of a loss of profit (which is a result of loss of inventory, cash, adminstrative errors etc…).  When a business experiences a loss, figuring out the source can prove challenging and time consuming.  And if the cause ends up being employee theft, then this can be especially frustrating for the business owner.

A business owner or manager identifies that there is an issue in their organization, and loss of profit is resulting.  When all indications point to employee theft, the business owner can feel betrayed by his or her trusted employee.  However, a business must protect their assets, so an unbiased and experienced person such as a  loss prevention agent can be brought in to assist.

A loss prevention agent can help businesses identify the cause of a loss of profit, and also help secure restitution in situations of employee theft. Also referred to as a loss prevention investigator or loss prevention consultants, these professionals are trained to create cases worthy of successful prosecution if that is desired.  They are also trained in conducting employee interviews of both witnesses and suspects.  This is necessary so that the most accurate information can be obtained during an investigation.

We all want to trust those that work for us – but it is inevitable that your business will one day be the victim of employee theft.  Considering employee theft accounts for more loss than shoplifting, it is critical that these losses be identified and handled as soon as possible.  A loss prevention investigator has specialized skills honed specifically for a retail environment.

For more information contact us: loss prevention agent  or call 1.866.914.2567.

 

Posted October 6th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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Employee background checks critical to success

A comprehensive background check is the first step in hiring quality, character employees. The 2010 University of Florida National Retail Security Survey documents that the majority of retail shrinkage last year was due to employee theft ($14.4 billion). Employee theft accounted for 43 percent of total retail losses in 2009. An estimated 1.7 million people are victims annually of violent crime while working in the United States, according to a report published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). 1.3 million (75%) of these incidents were simple assaults while 19% were aggravated assaults. The American DataBank has also documented that up to 30% of job applications and 40% of resumes contain false information. Due to a large number of employers not conducting effective employee background checks, 72% of employers lose negligent hiring suits.   

An effective employee background check should include, at a minimum, the following:

Criminal Background Check: To include Federal, State and County criminal background checks.

Employment Background Check: Confirm dates of employment, Positions held and eligibility for rehire.

Social Security Background Check: Verify Social Security number, identify other names used and residence history.

Motor Vehicle Report / Driving Records Background Check: Identify citations and suspensions.

Protect your business today. Conduct employee background checks to increase profits and reduce the potential for violent crime in your workplace.

For more information on Employee Background Checks call us at 1.866.914.2567.

 

Posted October 4th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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