The Loss Prevention Agent

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there were approximately 45,500 people who held the position of a loss prevention agent in 2008. Why? Because according to the FBI there were 978,000 incidents of shoplifting the previous year. However, we all know that some shoplifters are slicker than others and quite a few get away unnoticed. So, as high as that number may seem I would invite you to double it. I think that’s probably closer to the actual number of shoplifting incidents throughout the country. This is why the loss prevention agent is vital.

If you’re the owner of a business, or even just the manager, you are constantly concerned with how to make the business run smoothly, how to get people into your stores, how to increase profits. Price points, revenue, sales, hiring, firing, training, etc. To make a long story short, your plate is full. The last thing you need to add to it is worrying about some group of degenerates who have targeted your establishment and deemed you an easy mark and are subsequently robbing you blind. That’s where the loss prevention agent comes in. It is their job to monitor the store for suspicious activity. They are the ones who apprehend shoplifters, testify in court, build cases against dishonest employees, etc. In short, whatever your shrink reduction needs are the loss prevention agent is there to serve.

As the economy continues its downward spiral and unemployment increases, people will become more and more desperate and the incidents of crime in America, including shoplifting, will inevitably increase. For this reason the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 22% job growth in this career field – substantially higher than most others – between now and 2018. As long as there is retail theft there will be a need for the loss prevention agent.

For more information about loss prevention agent or loss prevention consultants or loss prevention investigator contact us. Visit our on line store or call 1.866.914.2567

Posted January 21st, 2011 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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The Loss Prevention Investigator and the Potential Shoplifter – Atlanta Georgia

Imagine for a moment that you’re a loss prevention investigator and you’re on the job – alone. You spot an elderly Caucasian woman carrying an oversized pocketbook near the lingerie department. A sales associate approaches her but she quickly dismisses them then makes her way to a secluded corner of the store. Soon after an African-American man in his early 20’s comes in wearing baggy jeans and an oversized hooded sweatshirt. He is wearing a ball cap that’s pulled low over his eyes and he heads directly to the Electronics department. Again, you’re alone and you are now faced with a decision. Who do you keep under surveillance? Why?

A loss prevention investigator faces choices like these on a daily basis. However, you have to remember that stereotyping is not an option. To single out someone based on race, creed, religion, gender or age is immoral, and more importantly illegal. Now I know some of you are thinking, “Come on, everybody stereotypes a little bit. They don’t mean anything by it.” And you’re probably right. However, the loss prevention investigator does mean something by it. They mean to catch and prosecute those who break the law. They mean to go to court and testify to the validity of their choices and their actions. This is serious business.

So, who do you keep under surveillance? Well, it’s a trick question. The elderly lady has the means in which to conceal merchandise – her oversized pocketbook, and her avoidance of the associates and customers make her behavior understandably suspicious. The young man’s attire is his means in which to conceal and is simultaneously suspicious in certain circumstances. You are completely justified, for these reasons, to watch either one. If you’re a loss prevention investigator the choice is yours.

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

Posted January 19th, 2011 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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Risks of the Loss Prevention Investigator – Atlanta Georgia

The job of Loss Prevention Investigator can often be a dangerous one. We deal with sections of society that are often desperate and potentially violent. Therefore, one must always be prepared for the worst when attempting to apprehend a shoplifter. Most of the time the shoplifter who lashes out or begins to fight is simply trying to get away, but occasionally you’ll find those who have some sort of point to prove. In certain cities it is part of gang initiations, and some subjects are so impaired by drugs or alcohol that they barely know what they’re doing. A loss prevention investigator must keep all of these possibilities in mind.

In 2004 one of my detectives spotted an entire family (mom, dad, teenage daughter) concealing merchandise in several large bags that they were carrying. As they prepared to exit the store we positioned ourselves to apprehend them. My detective stopped the mother and daughter with little incident, however the father ignored him and kept walking. I approached the man and calmly tried to get him to stop and return with me inside to discuss the incident. Suddenly he turned to me brandishing a 5” knife and lunged at me. I managed to quickly sidestep the attack.

Due to the foolishly high level of testosterone that usually runs through my body I briefly thought about retaliating. However, becoming a human shish kabob has never been a dream of mine so I simply stepped away and allowed the man to escape. I immediately contacted the police, giving them his description and his vehicle’s license plate number. Within minutes he was arrested and taken to jail. In court I learned that the docile-looking family man was a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic with a history of violent criminal activity. Who knew? The loss prevention investigator must remain ready for anything.

For more information about loss prevention agent or loss prevention consultants contact us at: Loss Prevention Investigator or call 1.866.914.2567

Posted January 13th, 2011 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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What are Loss Prevention Consultants? – Atlanta Georgia

 If you’re like most people you know very little about what loss prevention consultants are and what they do. Don’t feel bad, I’ve been in the loss prevention field for over a decade and had to brush up a bit on what exactly the job of a consultant was versus the everyday detective, investigator or LP supervisor. In short, loss prevention consultants are individuals who work with one or more companies to provide evaluation and assistance with various loss prevention issues.

These consultants use procedures that can include anything from mystery shopping and running background checks on potential employees to investigating occurrences of theft and performing employee interrogations. While major corporations and larger companies typically have dedicated loss prevention associates and have employees who work full time in loss prevention, other smaller companies cannot often afford to pay for loss prevention on a full-time basis. Loss prevention consultants will typically work with these types of companies to provide the protection and services of a loss prevention department without the need for ongoing, full-time pay.

The methods used and services provided by loss prevention consultants will typically vary from company to company, and are based on the needs of the business looking to hire a consultant. A good company will work with you based on your individual needs rather than simply having a kind of cookie-cutter formula mapped out for everybody. Do your research and find out what company works best for you. Loss prevention consultants can be a cost effective way of keeping your company’s shrink under control.

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

Posted January 5th, 2011 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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Loss Prevention Agent – Recovering your Loss – Atlanta Georgia

A loss prevention agent can be an employee of your business that is out on your sales floor, watching for shoplifters.  They can be a valuable resource in your efforts to reduce shrink.

Agents should be trained to know what specifically to watch for when they are looking for suspicious activity.  Agents should never profile based on the way a customer looks, their gender, race, etc.  Shoplifters do not fit into a specific category and can be anyone – young or old, wealthy or poor, male or female.

Some customers that come into your business may not realize that their actions appear suspicious.  I have seen customers put $100 worth of small merchandise right on top of their open and empty purses, just to go to the register and pay for it all.  Some customers will conceal items in their coat pockets, then later take it out and pay for it at a register.

These customers know that they are honest, so they do not take into consideration that their actions appear dishonest.  A loss prevention agent will encounter this type of behavior, and must learn how to differentiate between it and the actual shoplifters that will come into your business.

loss prevention agent must be completely sure of the acts that they have witnessed fall within your policy of detaining shoplifters.  The agent must know that the merchandise is from the store, is unpaid for, and is not going to be paid for.  A loss prevention agent should detain a shoplifter only past the last point of sale, to rule out the possibility that the customer will pay for the merchandise.  The agent must also maintain constant surveillance of the suspected shoplifter after he or she has concealed the merchandise.  If the agent does not, there is the chance that the customer actually went to a register and paid for the concealed merchandise.

A loss prevention agent can be a valuable asset to reducing shrink in your store, as long as policies and guidelines are followed so customers are not unlawfully detained.

For more information about loss prevention consultants , loss prevention investigator contact us: loss prevention agent or call 1.866.914.256 – Atlanta Georgia

Posted January 3rd, 2011 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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A Loss Prevention Investigator for your major case – Atlanta Georgia

If your business is experiencing a major loss, of merchandise, assets, cash, or all of the above, you may need the expertise of a loss prevention investigator .

A loss prevention investigator is a trained professional that knows how to look at the various aspects of your business and figure out what the loss is that you are experiencing.  The first step in an investigation of this type is to determine if there is an issue, and what specifically that issue is.

Once the type of loss has been identified, research can be conducted to figure out the extent of the loss your business is experiencing.  More often than not, there is an initial red flag that alerts you to a shrinkage issue in your business, and then once research is conducted it is discovered that the extent of the loss is much more far reaching.  This is not what a business owner would like to hear – that the problem is even worse than originally anticipated.

This is why a loss prevention investigator is an excellent resource to utilize in these types of investigations.  The investigator is trained to dig deep into your business and document the shrinkage issues into a workable case file.  Once the investigation is complete, the investigator can refer the case to the proper authorities for prosecution, if that is desired.

A loss prevention investigator , after identifying the problem, will interview witnesses and other employees to gather more information.  Once this is complete, the investigator will interview the suspected employee. 

Investigators are trained to conduct these types of interviews and interrogations that are appropriate for a retail environment.

When your business experiences an employee theft case, bring in an expert – a loss prevention investigator .  Your business’s profits will thank you and grow as a result.

For more information about loss prevention consultants, loss prevention consultants contact us: loss prevention investigator or call 1.866.914.256 – Atlanta Georgia

Posted December 30th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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Experts in the field – Loss Prevention Consultants – Atlanta Georgia

If your business is experiencing an increase in inventory shrinkage, it may benefit from the knowledge and expertise of loss prevention consultants .  Trained professionals can take a look at your business and create an effective loss prevention program.

For example, shoplifters do not want attention when they come into your store. loss prevention consultants can help you teach your employees this important fact.  By simply providing that unwanted attention, theft can be prevented without the employee ever realizing it.

Loss prevention consultants can also look at your sales floor layout and offer suggestions for improvement.  High theft items should be located in a high traffic area in the store, away from the entrances.  These items should also have good employee coverage so that they can be monitored.  By having the merchandise away from the entrance, this can help prevent a shoplifter from grabbing the merchandise and making a quick escape out the doors.

While you might not recognize a blind corner in your store, loss prevention consultants can look at your store the way a shoplifter does, and identify good areas of concealment.  These areas can then be reworked so that the aisles are more open.

Loss prevention controls for your business can also be developed.  If your business has a fitting room, consultants may suggest that employees physically handle all clothing that goes into the room, and that the fitting room never be left unattended.  Some shoplifters choose to conceal merchandise in fitting rooms, so by monitoring what goes into the room this type of theft can be prevented.

By reducing the opportunity, you can reduce the theft with the help of loss prevention consultants .

For more information contact us: loss prevention consultants or call 1.866.914.256 – Atlanta Georgia

Posted December 20th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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Bringing in the experts: A Loss prevention investigator for your major cases – Atlanta Georgia

A few years ago I conducted a large internal theft investigation that ended up involving eight employees and had resulted in a loss of over $8000.

When a business experiences a case as complex as one like that, it can be time consuming and may require the expertise of a loss prevention investigator .

I was able to dedicate the time needed to thoroughly investigate this case, but many smaller businesses may not have the time or the loss prevention knowledge necessary to tackle this type of large theft investigation.

And often, when it comes to employee theft cases, they can be much bigger.  Employee theft is the cause of more shrinkage than shoplifters because the dollar amount per instance is usually much higher.

loss prevention investigator can come into your business and conduct the necessary research to identify the cause of the loss, develop a case, and refer it to the necessary authorities.  By employing an expert, successful prosecution can be sought and recovery of the loss, in the form of restitution, can occur.

To prevent the types of theft I mentioned above from occurring in the first place, loss prevention consultants can analyze a business and its security measures and help the business establish a loss prevention program.

Often loss prevention consultants can see problems in security and loss prevention measures that the business owner or managers overlook.  By utilizing theft prevention measures, the opportunity for employee theft, as well as shoplifting, can be reduced.  The opportunity is what you want to reduce or eliminate.

While it is good to prevent shrink, we also have to be able to react appropriately when shrinkage does occur. Loss prevention consultants as well as a loss prevention investigator are trained experts in the field of shrinkage prevention or shrinkage reaction.

For more information about loss prevention investigator or loss prevention consultants contact us or call 1.866.914.256.

Posted December 6th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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Why contract a Loss Prevention Investigator – Loss Prevention Agent

Smaller to mid sized retailers may not have full time staff and benefit from contracting a loss prevention investigator – loss prevention agent to keep on top of issues and keep overhead low.

A primary function of the loss prevention investigator – loss prevention agent is to fist assess the current state of the business.  Observing daily procedures for receiving and inventory practices, cash drawer open and closing as well as daily operation and shortage policies are a few areas of focus.  Other areas looked at are clock in and clock out practices, inventory and cycle counting procedures and practices, alarm system / CCTV (camera) system operation & usage and safety issues.

The goal of the loss prevention agent is to save profit from being lost through weak operational practices as well as identify and process the big ones like shoplifting issues and employee theft problems.  These more routine areas where money can fly out the door are often not even on the mind of the retailer when considering the hire of a loss prevention investigator to help solve issues and improve profitability.

Another benefit of an outside contractor is there is no “inside” or internal employee dynamics which can lead to emotional attachments and biases / favoritism etc… You get a truly objective individual with your best interest at heart and no one else’s.

For more information visit: loss prevention investigator / loss prevention agent 

Posted December 2nd, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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Protecting profits with the help of a Loss Prevention Investigator – Atlanta Georgia

A loss prevention investigator works to drive sales by proactively investigating many types of losses. As a retailer in the United States, you face many sales killing challenges including internal or employee theft and the brutalizing affect of Organized Retail Crime outfits.

Working a variety of stores from grocery to high end beauty products, I have seen the negative impacts of these types of losses. It is not a pretty site when a store closes because it simply cannot sustain the losses incurred as a result of poor inventory controls, employee theft and external factors. At times, these losses could have been mitigated simply by bringing loss prevention consultants and spending the money to counter these losses.

If a business is losing money, it is crucial to act fast and acknowledge the “hows” and “whys”. As loss prevention investigator , I was brought in to investigate a store experiencing shrink as high as 25%. This was a chain of about 50 stores, which were small boutique type no larger than 3000 sqft. Looking at other stores in the company, this was not the only one with high shrink, just the highest. I looked into everything starting with their receiving practices. I followed the delivery truck several times; I watched trucks being unloaded and audited the store’s receipts. Matching what I could, I found no issue that would lead to explain the losses.

Further, I conducted night surveillances, watching the closing crews and management. Now, any loss prevention investigator worth his salt could tell you that what I saw was cause for alarm. Management on at least 4 nights was in the store several hours past closing, alone. Not only is this a safety issue but offers ethical challenges. As a result of these poor controls, management took advantage.

Several nights of my surveillance, I witnessed the manager put box after box of merchandise outside the back door, near the emergency exit. As she left the building, she would simply drive around back and pick up here “prizes”.

In the next few days, as the loss prevention investigator , I interviewed the manager. She admitted to taking merchandise daily for the last year and a half. However, my investigation showed losses for more the 2 years, in fact, the same amount of time the manager had been with the company.

Work by loss prevention consultants would have stoped this problem before it started.

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

Posted November 26th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized
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