Retail Anti-Theft Devices Could Have Prevented A Shoplifter From Biting Off More Than He Could Chew

Retail Anti-Theft Devices – 4                                                                                                                 WC Blog 151
Alpha Ink Tag-4
Retail Anti-Theft Devices Could Have Prevented A Shoplifter From Biting Off More Than He Could Chew
      Being a Loss Prevention Manager doesn’t mean you are always at work when the interesting shopliftings occur.  Sometimes it’s your team that has to deal with the difficult situations such as the one that took place one afternoon at the store where I worked.  Two of my team members were working this particular day when they began watching a suspect in the shoe department.  The suspect in this case began trying on men’s work boots.  We had no retail anti-theft devices on our shoes or boots such as an Alpha Ink Tag to deter theft.  The subject in this case found a pair of boots, put them on and walked to the front of the store and watched the door.  When he felt it was safe, he walked to the exit and as he started to leave, my two Loss Prevention Officers stopped him and brought him back in the store.  As they neared the security office the subject turned to run and the officers grabbed him.  The suspect then bit one of the officers and tried to throw a punch at him.  Fortunately for the suspect the officers showed a bit of restraint and while he ended up with a bump on his head he was no worse for wear, aside from a ripped t-shirt.  The officers called for local police and then notified me of the incident.  Of course my concern was for my Loss Prevention Officer who had been bitten.  I was also curious why the suspect had fought so hard over a pair of boots.  It turned out the suspect had an extensive criminal history and was also identifying himself as his brother who was a detective in a nearby state.  The point of this story is that retail anti-theft devices can and do deter theft. A store may or may not have Loss Prevention personnel but, the devices along with electronic article surveillance antennas can prevent shoplifting.
     The Alpha Ink Tag can be applied to nearly all clothing items, as well as comforters, sheet sets, even purses and totes.  The tag has one side with dye capsules built in that are designed to break if someone attempts to tamper with the tag and remove it on their own.  The only way to take it off without risking damage to the merchandise is with a detachment key controlled by the store, usually secured at the point of sale.  The tag is pinned to merchandise and makes a tight seal hindering attempts to pry them off.  I have seen the results of ink ruining clothes after a shoplifter attempted to take an Alpha Ink Tag off of a pair of jeans.  It leaves a mess that cannot be cleaned off of the garment and unless you are into tie-dye, you wouldn’t want to wear it.
     It is my firm belief that retail anti-theft devices do deter theft, especially when they are placed in a prominent location on an item.  In the situation my Loss Prevention Officers had to contend with, I believe that had our store used an Alpha Ink Tag on shoes the shoplifter would never had attempted to steal the boots in the first place. I can’t say he would not have tried to steal something else if ink tags had been used, but who knows?  In this case had the criminal been deterred by a retail anti-theft device and left the store empty handed the Loss Prevention Officer would not have been bitten.
     As a side note for those who would argue against Loss Prevention Officers because of rare instances like this, I would point out that in the vast majority of cases where we had two Loss Prevention department members available, we had few fights or injuries.  The training program we had made officer and shoplifter safety paramount.  There were other benefits the officers brought to the store such as helping find lost purses, cars and children.  They built partnerships with police and store managers.  While stores in our area and even next to ours were robbed, we never experienced one robbery in the nearly 14 years I worked there.
    Oh, and what happened to the Security Officer after the bite?  He had to go through a series of shots to ensure he did not acquire any blood borne pathogens. He did return to work and fully recovered, but it was not an experience he wanted to go through again.
Need information on retail anti-theft devices?  Give us a call at 1.866.914.2567 now.
       

Being a Loss Prevention Manager doesn’t mean you are always at work when the interesting shopliftings occur. Sometimes it’s your team that has to deal with the difficult situations such as the one that took place one afternoon at the store where I worked. Two of my team members were working this particular day when they began watching a suspect in the shoe department. The suspect in this case began trying on men’s work boots. We had no retail anti-theft devices on our shoes or boots such as an Alpha Ink Tag to deter theft. The subject in this case found a pair of boots, put them on and walked to the front of the store and watched the door. When he felt it was safe, he walked to the exit and as he started to leave, my two Loss Prevention Officers stopped him and brought him back in the store. As they neared the security office the subject turned to run and the officers grabbed him. The suspect then bit one of the officers and tried to throw a punch at him. Fortunately for the suspect the officers showed a bit of restraint and while he ended up with a bump on his head he was no worse for wear, aside from a ripped t-shirt. The officers called for local police and then notified me of the incident. Of course my concern was for my Loss Prevention Officer who had been bitten. I was also curious why the suspect had fought so hard over a pair of boots. It turned out the suspect had an extensive criminal history and was also identifying himself as his brother who was a detective in a nearby state. The point of this story is that retail anti-theft devices can and do deter theft. A store may or may not have Loss Prevention personnel but, the devices along with electronic article surveillance antennas can prevent shoplifting.
     

 

The Alpha Ink Tag can be applied to nearly all clothing items, as well as comforters, sheet sets, even purses and totes. The tag has one side with dye capsules built in that are designed to break if someone attempts to tamper with the tag and remove it on their own. The only way to take it off without risking damage to the merchandise is with a detachment key controlled by the store, usually secured at the point of sale. The tag is pinned to merchandise and makes a tight seal hindering attempts to pry them off. I have seen the results of ink ruining clothes after a shoplifter attempted to take an Alpha Ink Tag off of a pair of jeans. It leaves a mess that cannot be cleaned off of the garment and unless you are into tie-dye, you wouldn’t want to wear it.
     

It is my firm belief that retail anti-theft devices do deter theft, especially when they are placed in a prominent location on an item. In the situation my Loss Prevention Officers had to contend with, I believe that had our store used an Alpha Ink Tag on shoes the shoplifter would never had attempted to steal the boots in the first place. I can’t say he would not have tried to steal something else if ink tags had been used, but who knows?  In this case had the criminal been deterred by a retail anti-theft device and left the store empty handed the Loss Prevention Officer would not have been bitten.
     

As a side note for those who would argue against Loss Prevention Officers because of rare instances like this, I would point out that in the vast majority of cases where we had two Loss Prevention department members available, we had few fights or injuries. The training program we had made officer and shoplifter safety paramount. There were other benefits the officers brought to the store such as helping find lost purses, cars and children. They built partnerships with police and store managers. While stores in our area and even next to ours were robbed, we never experienced one robbery in the nearly 14 years I worked there.
   

Oh, and what happened to the Security Officer after the bite? He had to go through a series of shots to ensure he did not acquire any blood borne pathogens. He did return to work and fully recovered, but it was not an experience he wanted to go through again.

 

Need information on retail anti-theft devices? Give us a call at 1.866.914.2567 now.