Jewelry Hijinks Might Have Been Prevented If Alpha Jewel Locks Had Been Around; How I Was Outwitted By A Slick Senior

 

Alpha Jewel Lok-4                                                                                                                 WC Blog 354
Retail Anti-Theft Devices-3
Jewelry Hijinks Might Have Been Prevented If Alpha Jewel Locks Had Been Around; How I Was Outwitted By A Slick Senior 
     Loss Prevention personnel see a lot of strange things get stolen. Sometimes we catch the bad guys and sometimes they get one over on us. During the course of my years in the field I encountered all kinds of strange things. I had an employee I caught who stole pairs of socks along with other clothing and I caught a golfer with $300 in his wallet stealing a couple of packages of underwear but one of the oddest shoplifting stories was one about a shoplifter who actually got away. The shoplifter was an older woman, probably in her 70’s shopping in our jewelry department. Our store didn’t lock up all of our jewelry in display cases or in counter top displays. Some merchandise was out for open sale. Our retail anti-theft devices were limited to electronic article surveillance tags (EAS) tags on the backers of some items such as rings and earrings, but not all. While it would have behooved us to have Alpha Jewel Loks available to secure the smaller pieces like bracelets and earrings, they had not been developed at that time. I will get back to the story of the sticky-fingered slickster in a moment. First I need to discuss exactly what an Alpha Jewel Lok is so I don’t leave anyone scratching their head.
     Alpha makes all types of retail anti-theft devices but the only one they have that is small enough to offer EAS protection to items as small as a bracelet or small pair of hoop earrings is the Alpha Jewel Lok. This tag has a small, steel hook that locks closed in a solid housing unit with EAS technology built into it. The hook can secure clasps together, earrings or be clipped through a watch band. While you may be thinking that something this small could be broken by a thief, it is strong enough that the jewelry will break before the lock does. Shoplifters aren’t looking for broken merchandise as that defeats their purpose. The EAS portion that interacts with the alarm towers at the doors deters potential thieves who want to avoid alarm systems.
     As I was saying, this older woman was spending a lot of time around the costume jewelry counter looking at what I call the lower end jewelry. Some of it was gold plated or silver plated and could run up to around $50 a piece but generally no more than that. I caught myself watching her because she was in a high theft area but I then moved the camera to something else. I chided myself thinking, “What is this little old lady going to do?” As the customer continued to take her time picking up earrings, removing them from the backings, trying them on and then putting them back I couldn’t shake the feeling something wasn’t right. She was taking a long time trying the merchandise on, looking in a mirror and viewing herself. Part of me excused the behavior thinking that she was just a lonely woman with nowhere else to go and nothing to do. The longer she lingered the more suspicious I became and zoomed my camera in but still I saw nothing that looked like theft. The only thing that really stood out as suspicious was that she was looking only at pierced earrings and trying them on and taking them off. She didn’t look at any other types of jewelry. 
     After more than an hour of trying on earrings the sinister seventy-something went on her merry way. I knew something just did not feel right but she was gone and I was going to figure out what she did. I went to the counter and started looking at the earrings, especially a couple pair I could be sure she had tried on. As I looked at the earrings I noticed something, every pair was some type of gold. Then I noticed it, the earring backers that keep the earrings from falling out when worn were all plastic or silver. The greedy granny had stolen the gold earring backs from a LOT of our earrings. I don’t recall how many, but it was a significant number. To this day it remains a bit of a sore spot that she got one over on me.
      There are a lot of odd things that get stolen and just when you think you’ve seen it all, some new twist or turn happens that you never expected. Using Alpha Jewel Loks and other retail anti-theft devices on as many items as possible can minimize the amount of theft your store will experience and save you money. Just don’t let anything surprise you if it isn’t secured or locked up.
Need information on Alpha Jewel Loks? Give us a call at 1.866.914.2567 now.

Loss Prevention personnel see a lot of strange things get stolen. Sometimes we catch the bad guys and sometimes they get one over on us. During the course of my years in the field I encountered all kinds of strange things. I had an employee I caught who stole pairs of socks along with other clothing and I caught a golfer with $300 in his wallet stealing a couple of packages of underwear but one of the oddest shoplifting stories was one about a shoplifter who actually got away. The shoplifter was an older woman, probably in her 70’s shopping in our jewelry department. Our store didn’t lock up all of our jewelry in display cases or in counter top displays. Some merchandise was out for open sale. Our retail anti-theft devices were limited to electronic article surveillance tags (EAS) tags on the backers of some items such as rings and earrings, but not all. While it would have behooved us to have Alpha Jewel Loks available to secure the smaller pieces like bracelets and earrings, they had not been developed at that time. I will get back to the story of the sticky-fingered slickster in a moment. First I need to discuss exactly what an Alpha Jewel Lok is so I don’t leave anyone scratching their head.

Alpha makes all types of retail anti-theft devices but the only one they have that is small enough to offer EAS protection to items as small as a bracelet or small pair of hoop earrings is the Alpha Jewel Lok. This tag has a small, steel hook that locks closed in a solid housing unit with EAS technology built into it. The hook can secure clasps together, earrings or be clipped through a watch band. While you may be thinking that something this small could be broken by a thief, it is strong enough that the jewelry will break before the lock does. Shoplifters aren’t looking for broken merchandise as that defeats their purpose. The EAS portion that interacts with the alarm towers at the doors deters potential thieves who want to avoid alarm systems.

As I was saying, this older woman was spending a lot of time around the costume jewelry counter looking at what I call the lower end jewelry. Some of it was gold plated or silver plated and could run up to around $50 a piece but generally no more than that. I caught myself watching her because she was in a high theft area but I then moved the camera to something else. I chided myself thinking, “What is this little old lady going to do?” As the customer continued to take her time picking up earrings, removing them from the backings, trying them on and then putting them back I couldn’t shake the feeling something wasn’t right. She was taking a long time trying the merchandise on, looking in a mirror and viewing herself. Part of me excused the behavior thinking that she was just a lonely woman with nowhere else to go and nothing to do. The longer she lingered the more suspicious I became and zoomed my camera in but still I saw nothing that looked like theft. The only thing that really stood out as suspicious was that she was looking only at pierced earrings and trying them on and taking them off. She didn’t look at any other types of jewelry. 

After more than an hour of trying on earrings the sinister seventy-something went on her merry way. I knew something just did not feel right but she was gone and I was going to figure out what she did. I went to the counter and started looking at the earrings, especially a couple pair I could be sure she had tried on. As I looked at the earrings I noticed something, every pair was some type of gold. Then I noticed it, the earring backers that keep the earrings from falling out when worn were all plastic or silver. The greedy granny had stolen the gold earring backs from a LOT of our earrings. I don’t recall how many, but it was a significant number. To this day it remains a bit of a sore spot that she got one over on me.

There are a lot of odd things that get stolen and just when you think you’ve seen it all, some new twist or turn happens that you never expected. Using Alpha Jewel Loks and other retail anti-theft devices on as many items as possible can minimize the amount of theft your store will experience and save you money. Just don’t let anything surprise you if it isn’t secured or locked up.

 

Need information on Alpha Jewel Loks? Give us a call at 1.866.914.2567 now.