In every profession, there are specific tools of the trade. The Jeweler has his loupe, torch and files. An electrician has a voltage meter, a chef has his knives.
In order for the shoplifter to be successful and evasive they have a much larger tool kit. Here are 13 very popular tools they use.
1) Baby Strollers – Especially if there is no baby it!
2) Shopping Bags – Especially if they look old and have been around. (they may have built in pockets)
3) Messenger Bags – Try checking their size as they enter and when they leave
4) Backpacks – Same as messenger bags
5) Large Pocketbooks – Zipper top or quick open latch
6) Magazines curled up – Flat items like a pendant, neck chain can be slipped in
7) Car left running in the parking lot – Yes, this is difficult to spot while you are in the middle of your store, but employees should be sent out periodically for a quick sweep
8) Distraction – A couple arguing, excessive sneezing, fainting, someone asking a lot of questions keeping the attention of the store associate while their accomplices fill their pockets
9) Sunglasses – Especially on a cloudy day or at night. Shoplifters work with their eyes more than anything and they need to cover up where they are looking
10) Refuses Customer Assistance
11) Roaming aisles without showing any interest in an item – They are looking for a place where they can bring items to an then load up their pockets, backpack, baby stroller
12) Second Pass – as they are loading, their head is moving left & right to see if anyone is watching. They never look at the item and where they are placing it
13) Holding money in hand while holding a zippered purse – Is either an efficient shopper or has something hidden in her handbag. Watch where they put the change.
It is not always possible to stop people you suspect, but ALWAYS mark down the time of day they left your store so you may review on your surveillance system. After a few reviews you will know if you have a problem where your store is “marked” as a soft target.