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Sonitrol Commercial Security Blog ... by Joe Wilson



What is Organized Retail Crime and How To Prevent it

Posted by Joe Wilson

Oct 28, 2022 11:22:14 AM

Retail crimeIn 2020, there were approximately 90,900 incidents of shoplifting under $5,000. While this is a substantial decrease from previous years, it is still an incredibly high number. Not to mention, the decrease is believed to be because many stores were closed and so much time was spent at home through the pandemic.

As we open back up, there is concern that these incidents will begin to increase again. This shows the importance of having a robust, reliable and renowned retail security solution to protect your business.  

Shoplifting products under an oversized hoodie or in a big purse isn’t the only retail crime you should be concerned about. Larger scale operations can put you at even bigger risk and can quickly set your business back, especially as the holiday season rolls in. 

So today, let’s look at organized retail crime. 

Organized retail crime goes by many different names – such as professional shoplifting, cargo theft, retail crime rings and many more. Organized retail crime is when two or more people work together to illegally obtain large amounts of retail products through fraud or theft. 

Generally, criminals who partake in organized retail crime are hoping to sell the items they steal for financial gain. While it often happens on a local or regional scale, well-coordinated organized retail crime can be national or even international. 

Methods used for organized retail crime

There are many ways that criminals commit organized retail crime, but the three most common are: 

Smash and grab: A group of people enter or break into a retail space and grab as much merchandise as they can before quickly running off to evade police. 

Cargo theft: Criminals steal merchandise while it is in transit to the final retail destination. This may be while merchandise is moving from a manufacturer, warehouse or other storage facility. There are many forms of cargo theft including fake pickups, coerced stops, hijackings, and smuggling. 

Employee assisted: Your employees help criminals gain entry into your business or work with other criminals to help sneak items out. 

What products are targeted by organized retail crime 

While the products that these criminals steal vary from one business to the next, they usually have some characteristics in common. Products at risk of being targeted by organized retail crime are: 

  • High value or in high demand 
  • Easy to access 
  • Easily concealed (i.e. small in size) 
  • Available at multiple locations 
  • Highly attractive to consumers due to their premium performance 
  • Easily sold or converted to cash 

Some examples of products that are at high risk of being targeted for organized retail crime are: over the counter drugs, razor blades, video games, jewellery, electronics, power tools, and designer clothing. But many more products can also be targeted. 

How to prevent organized retail crime

There are some ways that businesses can prevent organized retail crime. This includes: 

  • Managed access control for your storage spaces and employee entrances, as well as monitored security on all doors outside of your stores business hours 
  • Strategic product placement 
  • Limiting the amount of product on display at any given time 
  • Tracking devices on products 
  • Verified alarm surveillance that monitors all areas of your store in real time

When it comes to protecting your business, there’s no more reliable solution than a verified alarm. With a verified alarm system, your security is monitored by security operators. If an alarm is triggered, operators will verify the source and then dispatch authorities. Because the alarm is verified, police respond faster than they would to traditional CCTV alarms. 

This increases the rate of apprehension of criminals, reducing the chance of damage to your business and minimizing losses.

For more information on preventing organized retail crime at your business, contact our team of specialists today for a free security audit

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Topics: Retail Security

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Joe Wilson, Owner of Sonitrol Western Canada

We provide our customers with the best commercial security solutions and quality service backed by our unique Guarantee and Commitment to Service. It's something unverified conventional alarm companies simply cannot guarantee!

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