I've been doing LP for almost 4 years, and I've seen just about every scenario, from guns and knives to a old lady having a heart attack.

Comments: 652 • Responses: 85  • Date: 

aidenchaos103 karma

Also as a side note, when I worked at Target, I caught a guy masturbating in the women's lingerie section... Was epically disgusting.

monkeyman804 karma

at the local target last month a guy was arrested for taking underskirt pics of little girls. ew.

aidenchaos11 karma

Glad he got caught!

aidenchaos78 karma

Best part about the store I'm at now: I always have prostitutes come in and try to steal condoms.

aidenchaos70 karma

Just dawned on me I should have posted a Dora the explorer pic with swiper no swiping as the main picture.

Windex00746 karma

I've never stolen, but if I did, I'd throw small valuable items into staff garbages and then mark the bags with UV ink. I'd then do some dumpster diving with a black light. ever seen anything like that?

aidenchaos64 karma

Have seen it, but that's why a lot of stores have trash compactors that are secured.

SpaceCowboy5833 karma

Even shitty ass Tuesday Morning had "trash control". I thought it was a dumb idea until I realized how many people attempted to throw shit out thinking they could get it later.

aidenchaos26 karma

Happens a lot lol

frodohaskids44 karma

Have you ever had to deal with a colleague / co-worker who abused their job? For example... They have access to register cameras = stealing debit pin numbers. If you have, what happened?

aidenchaos50 karma

I've had to participate in internal investigations regarding other LP agents from other stores who didn't know who I was. I have seen other LP pick up credit cards, and run them as their own, which the cashiers wouldnt even pay attention to the "ask for ID" prompt seeing as how it was the LP running the card. When detectives would come for video, "the cameras didn't work". I have spent hours upon hours reviewing video to find the right transactions, and then release the video to higher ups in the company, and have the LP prosecuted... Its not worth it to lose your job or reputation because of something like that.

GeekDNA14 karma

Best way to steal internally is to do it in front of the loss prevention office. Video Game scenario:

Step 1: Grab video game box and start walking toward loss prevention, identify a small blind spot and open the plastic wrap.

Step 2: knock on LP to report possible theft, offer to inspect contents since its your area of expertise.

Step 3: while in front of LP try to cover contents with outside box while making easy access to put in your pockets.

Step 4: wait for the right moment to stuff your pockets with needed contents.

Step 5: report the missing contents to LP, then ask for a break from your supervisor.

Step 6: put items in your car then return to work.

I am not saying I did this... But had I done it in my younger more stupid years, I would realize today what a stupid thing that was.

Still............... fucking brilliant!!!

aidenchaos10 karma

Lol could possibly work.

fghjfghjfghj41 karma

1) Knowing what you know, do you think you'd be able to shoplift something in someone else's store with a guaranteed 0% chance of getting caught?

2) Back to you doing your job, if you see a massive distraction in the store, like someone going crazy etc for 5 minutes and all attention is focused on them, when they leave, do you then replay the videos to make sure someone wasn't stealing during that distraction? Or have I just thought up a way of improving LP?

3) Have you known of pinhole cameras existing in changing rooms?

4) When you hand over evidence to the police, do the police keep you updated with the progress of their investigations? Are you told the outcome of every case?

5) Do you enjoy the cat & mouse, Sherlock Holmes nature of your job? Do you get excited when you're 'tracking down' your prey?

6) Are you allowed to have a big red button on your desk, that when pressed locks all the exits? If so, you should have 'DENIED' printed right across it.

7) Do stores with large numbers of visitors use facial recognition software, as I imagine you could only remember a certain number of faces?

8) What is the most interesting question that has not been asked yet?

9) What percentage of shrink are you able to supply evidence for? ie - how much shrink is a mystery? Do you have any ideas on how you could improve on this figure?

10) Are there such things as 'Mystery Robbers', much like there are 'Mystery Shoppers', to test the performance of LP?

11) In what ways are you careful not to cross the line from 'restraining' to 'assaulting' a person?

12) Do you get bonuses for low shrink rates?

aidenchaos34 karma

1) yes , but I have enough integrity not to. Mind you if I had no job and no income to feed my children, I would go to a food bank before stole.

2) yes I replay the videos to investigate, also I save the videos of the person to see if its a reoccurring thing, and to laugh at the video later on a slow day.

3)no, the companies I have worked for do not utilize pinhole cameras in changing rooms tho I do know that in some states it IS legal, as long as the video is being reviewed by someone of the same sex.

4)yes I receive a letter about the case and at times am called to testify in court.

5) I'm a former marine, of course I love the cat and mouse:)

6)no, but I wish I could.

7) I have my faults but I have been able to recognize people from pictures and incidents a long time after the initial time I have seen them. The company I currently work for is looking into facial recognition software.

8) I usually am asked about racial statistics, in which case I have caught more white people stealing than anyone else.

9) depends on the fiscal year, usually a good amount of it tho there is always "mystery shrink".

10) I personally have not encountered mystery robbers.

11) it depends on a case by case basis, but there are 3 questions I run thru my mind every time. 1. Is it right? 2. Is it safe? And 3. Is it good for business?. I will not do anything that puts the business in a bad light, unless I am legitimately defending myself from personal harm, such as them assaulting me first.

12) I personally don't get bonuses, they show up during my annual review and my raise.

MoonCheats14 karma

Pinehole cameras are seriously allowed in some states? Do they have to forewarn their customers? That's so horrendous.

aidenchaos9 karma

That I know of there are disclaimer stating that there are cameras.

MoonCheats9 karma

That is so ridiculously invasive and creepy. Why would anyone be okay with that?

aidenchaos10 karma

Shrug, I don't live in a state that does it.

typer5258 karma

I usually am asked about racial statistics, in which case I have caught more white people stealing than anyone else.

For the sake of clarification, what is the racial demographic of the area/customers?

aidenchaos9 karma

Mostly black and pac.islanders, and then white.

raytaylor37 karma

I worked in The Warehouse as a loss prevention officer - its similar to Walmart. My Best Story

We had someone stealing plasma tv's. This is when we first started selling them. They were driving around the country and none of the staff knew how it was being done - except that the display plasma would dissappear off the shelf in plain sight. The head office called and said they were expecting the guy to either be in our store, or one about 100kms away up the other state highway.

Thankfully he came to ours.
What he did was he would come in with a trolley - and go down to the furniture department. In an out-of-sight aisle, he would take a resin table out of its flat pack box, then rest the empty box flat on top of the trolley.

He would then go upstairs to the entertainment department and wait until 15 minutes before closing. This is when the staffmember on the music/photo counter would close their till and start cleaning the photo developing machinery. Its a process where various chemicals were used so it was pretty time consuming. They wouldnt be paying attention to what was happening behind them only 15 metres away across the open area of the music department. At this time, he would take the display model plasma tv off the shelf and slide it into the resin table box, then go down to the stationary aisle, use wide sellotape to reseal the box, then walk through the checkout and pay $40 for a plastic table, with the plasma inside the box.

Thankfully we had just had our store refitted and so we had alot more security cameras than most of the other stores.

We got him at the door as he tried to leave after paying- and to add to the fun, the checkout operator that he went through, technically didnt check the weight of the box on the trolley, as she was ment to. None of the operators liked her as she was a nasty supervisor so that was fun for her the next day.

aidenchaos42 karma

That's pretty creative. We had a guy buy an iPad, go home, take the iPad out and swap it with a piece of wood, with a picture of an iPad on the front, re shrink wrap it, and return it. He got caught after the 5th time lol

wheelchairedditer33 karma

  • How often do shoplifters utilize kids?
  • Has anyone in a wheelchair shoplifted at your store?
  • Why is your company's policy of stopping and restraining shoplifters?
  • Are you allowed to chase someone out of the store?
  • Do you carry handcuffs?
  • Is internal theft a large problem?


aidenchaos31 karma

Kids can be utilized frequently, depends on the situation. Ppl in wheelchairs do steal, in fact had a huge market case involving liquor theft by a lady using a wheelchair. As far as policies go, I am able to defend myself if a shoplifter becomes aggressive. Otherwise, if they push past me, its automatically strong arm robbery. Yes I can chase people out of the store , contrary to what many believe. Yes I carry handcuffs . and in the two stores that I run currently, internal theft is not an issue. I'm too nosy:)

gorillaknights25 karma

Walmart has a hands-off policy. Absolutely can't touch them. Can't chase people more that 10 feet from the door. I was in LP 2 years before those policy's went into effect. Those were the best times.

aidenchaos22 karma

I agree. Stupid law suits...

drinking4life39 karma

In my teenage years we would go to the mall, grocery stores for alcohol, clothing stores, basically any store that we knew had this policy and we would abuse it. Don't do it anymore because 1) It's wrong and 2) It carries more weight than as a kid.

aidenchaos26 karma

Upvote for #1 being its wrong lol

djle1230 karma

When I was young, I stole minor things over a period of time. I never once got caught so it escalated to more and more, nothing expensive. Fast forward to teenage years and I was shop lifting some contact [eyes] supplies.

I got caught and confronted outside. I ran. I was able to outrun the LP but when I was running, many people saw the LP chasing me and said things like, "why did you steal" and "What did you do".

I didnt get caught but I'm glad that day happened. After that day I never stole again.

Years later when I was able to afford things, I returned $200 [approximation of what I stole from the store I shoplifted most from] to a manager admitting what I did when I was younger.

That was it for my self imposed restitution. I still feel bad for what I did but that day changed me forever and glad it happened. Who knows, my life could be way different now if I continued.

aidenchaos29 karma

I appreciate that you had the integrity to do so. Was it embarrassing for you, having to run from the LP?
Anyway, thank you on behalf of all the decent LP for being a real man/woman and owning up to what you did. That makes you a good human being. It isn't who you were that defined you, its who you have become that defines you.

aidenchaos29 karma

irondeepbicycle15 karma

Hate to be "that guy", but that's not really proof. A) your username is nowhere to be seen, and B) wherever you are, doesn't necessarily prove that you're a loss prevention agent. Maybe a work badge or something?

aidenchaos31 karma

http://imgur.com/l6nFhG3 does this help?

trevnotzor11 karma

you look like the sherminator from american pie in this pic.

aidenchaos8 karma

Lol heard that since high school

DinoTestes24 karma

What is the most creative/out-there technique you've encountered?

aidenchaos46 karma

Parents putting jewelry in their kids diaper ... At that point I call 911

pixelatedtree16 karma

How did you catch them doing that? Did you see it? Or did you watch via camera or some other means?

aidenchaos49 karma

Caught it on camera. Police came and the parents went to jail and the kid went to foster care. Unfortunate, because I know what foster care is like, but seriously... If you are going to use your kid to commit a crime like that, you don't deserve to have a kid.

shmameron7 karma

For sure. It sucks, but foster care is better than living with abusive parents.

aidenchaos7 karma

My experience was a little more than just abusive parents, but you have a point.

gorillaknights22 karma

I worked loss prevention for walmart for 5 years. I have seen everything..

aidenchaos22 karma

I do not doubt that one bit

Nessie20 karma

Do they give you any special umbrella training? Because I've lost more umbrellas than I can count.

aidenchaos23 karma

When I worked at Burlington coat factory I had a guy run out the door with an umbrella.... I live by Seattle so I kinda understand why.

wsunaturalist5 karma

If he just walked would you have noticed? I wonder why people run, it's almost like wearing flashing lights, running immediately makes you stick out.

aidenchaos10 karma

It honestly works both ways... Depends on if the LP is watching the person and knows that the person does or doesn't have any merchandise.

wsunaturalist8 karma

I have always wondered what would happen if I ran out with something I bought but didn't bag.

aidenchaos7 karma

Well nothing should happen. If you are apprehended by an LP simply because you ran out with PAID merchandise, that's a lawsuit. Don't get this confused with a receipt check like they do at Target, Walmart and Costco tho.

wsunaturalist16 karma

I've never had my receipt checked at target. So apparently the real way to steal from a store is running out with paid merch and then suing. Good to know!

aidenchaos5 karma

Lol when I worked there we had to stand at the front for about 1/2 our shift .

BubbaLunker18 karma

My dad puts a pack of soda cans under the shopping cart cart by his feet. He's been doing this for three years and he hasn't been caught once.

aidenchaos20 karma

The store must have really bad LP.

BubbaLunker9 karma

It's only a Gerritty's in a small town no one knows about.

aidenchaos13 karma

....soo... Do they even HAVE lp?

justaron18 karma

Have you ever had a case where you felt somewhat sorry for the person stealing? Like if it was something they obviously probably needed and couldn't afford?

aidenchaos31 karma

Yes, and I've actually paid for items for people at times, if it was medicine for their kid or something. But at the end of the day, I have a job to do. I'm not completely heartless tho.

justaron23 karma

I was in a group home when I was young and I had no socks without holes, and the staff wouldn't take me shopping or give me some of my money, so I went to a local store and stole one pair of cheap socks (or tried to). Got busted and the LP associate was a total dick when I explained the predicament. Understandably I was breaking the law and he was doing his job, but I mean cmon... have a heart.

For clarification, I really didn't want to steal, but my socks were no longer socks and my feet had blisters on them, I really at that point had no other options. I was also 14 at the time.

aidenchaos17 karma

I bought the pair of socks a guy tried to steal about 2 months ago... He was caught stealing liquor at another one of my stores about 25 miles away 3 weeks after that... But I at least bought him the socks.

justaron17 karma

Thr only other thing I ever stole from a store was a pack of ginseng gum from this hippie co-op place near my house when I was like 6. Tasted fucking awful and I actually returned it cuz I felt bad.

0/10 would not recommend.

aidenchaos13 karma

Also:- I hope life has turned more positive for you since that point in your life.

aidenchaos5 karma

Lol I'll keep that in mind.

justaron5 karma

So you looking for a fresh agent? Cuz I'm lookin for a job. :-)

aidenchaos4 karma

Depends what area you are in and if you would pass a back ground check

justaron6 karma

Southeast Texas

aidenchaos3 karma

Got no connections there for you:/ sorry. But check out lpjobs.com and see if there is anything on there .

Echo71518 karma

I work in a grocery store and I see you guys "shopping" for 8 hours at a time. I always wanted to get into loss preventions, but after seeing some in action, it actually looks awfully boring. Is it more fun than it looks?

gorillaknights16 karma

As someone who worked loss prevention at walmart I can tell you that it has it's fun, and boring times. Worst day to be in loss prevention is black friday.

aidenchaos30 karma

Black Friday is HORRIBLE

pixelbits19 karma

Any good Black Friday stories?

aidenchaos21 karma

Too many... People running bout fire doors with TVs, video games, just about anything, people fighting over stuff... Yeah. A lot.

TheSillyLion10 karma

If your going to steal stuff on black friday, why not steal it on any other day, i mean your not really benefiting from the low prices.

aidenchaos28 karma

Because of the mass chaos lol

TheSillyLion13 karma

oh that makes sense. I have a question. Have you ever had an incident where someone did produce a weapon or physically attack you? And I am also curious about what kind of self defense they teach you as a marine. Thanks!

aidenchaos22 karma

Wish I could give you other bad ass stories of me throwing people around, but the most I've got is using company certified techniques of placing people in cuffs. But if I was off the clock.... Well, that'd be a different story. Had a guy that "wanted" to fight me, I said hold on let me clock out, when I came back outside he was gone. Lol

WhenAmI7 karma

I don't know if it could be much worse than working in any other position on Black Friday. I work in a huge department store and we work 10+ hour shifts with a 30 minute break, that's it. It is non-stop ringing/folding/stocking/being yelled at, etc. I'm certain it is your busiest day, but it is also ours.

aidenchaos8 karma

I've been on both sides, and it was worse on the lp side. There's a lot more that goes on behind closed doors than I initially thought. That's my experience tho.

aidenchaos8 karma

It does have its ups and downs. But when you catch someone the adrenaline rush makes it worth it.

nancylikestoreddit16 karma

I fucking hate the Target LPs. I'm just minding my own business browsing through my coupons. I use several and buy in bulk to save more. They think I'm pulling some sort of scam.

I always get followed around because I like to wander aimlessly and look at stuff to buy. It never fucking fails.

aidenchaos10 karma

That's because there's a lot of coupon scams out there, especially at Target, but when I left target focus was honestly being taken off of coupons as much as it had been. I'd personally rather focus on actual theft than coupons, and just let the cashiers deal with it.

morgan_freemun15 karma

This actually happened to me, I'm curious what would have happened if someone had seen me.

I was in the store with my 2 year old and she was playing with some toy. I knew that if I just took it away and put it on a shelf she'd start screaming, so when she was distracted I put it in my back pocket. I had every intention of putting it back on the shelf when she forgot about it, but I forgot and ended up leaving the store. When I got home I realized I had inadvertently stolen a $5 toy. I did pay for it next time I went in.

If you'd seen me how would you have reacted? Do you always press charges or is there any leniency if it appears to be inadvertent?

aidenchaos12 karma

We're all human and make mistakes. As its a $5 toy ibwouldnt have made a big scene, just asked you for your receipt and then been like, oh that toy doesn't appear to be on here, would you like to pay for it? That is IF I saw you put a $5 toy in your pocket... I'm human too and don't catch EVERYTHING lol

morgan_freemun5 karma

Have you ever seen anything happen like this? Or do you ever just go up to someone and tell them to go back and pay for something, rather than getting them arrested or in trouble with the law?

aidenchaos10 karma

If its small dollar items I generally just get what is reffered to as a recovery, I ask for the item back or if they want to pay for it, and go from there. I don't want to waste my time in the office with a shoplifter for anything less that $20 usually. If you think about it, is it worth the time it takes me to fill out the paperwork if someone is trying to steal a $6 item? No, its not. I've had plenty of parents that forget to pay for stuff. My own wife was distracted by my 2 screaming children and forgot to pay for 3 12 packs of Pepsi on the bottom of the basket when I worked at target. She called me and told me and then called the store to tell my boss. I then went and paid for them. Again, we all make mistakes.

morgan_freemun12 karma

I like the fact that you're not a dick and actually use a common sense approach instead of just trying to arrest everyone.

The law is the law motherf&[email protected]!

aidenchaos9 karma

Well yeah, numbers look good, but one of my first posts, I value my job and reputation. Most of the known shoplifters in my area know me and don't fuck with me. I've been around here long enough that when I see someone I've caught before, I ask how they're doing, ask if they're keeping out of trouble, shit like that. Just cuz I'm lp doesn't make me higher than thou or inhuman. I got pulled over for the first time in 6 years about 3 weeks ago because I was driving and talking on my phone. Small crime, but I still got a $124 ticket for that.

if_i_ruled_the_world13 karma

Does the technique of the trashbag inside the coat at a buffet line work to swipe free food? Also a friend of mine filled a plastic-lined backpack with Taco Bell's Baja Blast Mountain Dew with a tube going from the bag down his arm and out his sleeve. How often did you see creative things built to steal? What do you think of his success?

aidenchaos22 karma

I've seen ladies wearing dresses with lining on the inside, swiping computer software, clothing and such. Didn't catch on at first, took about 3 weeks of getting hit repetatively. Also had a cleaning crew guy loading psp's , digital cameras and stuff into the electronics garbage, and when he went to take the trash cart outside to get the outside garbage he would put the electronics trash bags in his car. We caught him for $10k, and found out he was an illegal immigrant .

GruffalosChild11 karma

Have you ever stopped an innocent person? When I'm shopping I can be incredibly indecisive. I've had security obviously lurk around me. I get creeped out and leave, feeling guilty. I do worry I'll get stopped and accused in a really embarrassing way. Does this happen often?

I probably think this because twice shops have left the anti-theft tag on tops I bought and set off the alarm. It was awful setting off the alarm, everyone was staring.

aidenchaos14 karma

No, those are called non productive incidents or bad stops. I value my job more than that, so if I'm not 100% positive I let it go. If they did do something, they will do it again and hopefully that time I can catch them.

gorillaknights11 karma

I've known of a LP guy getting fired on the spot for having a bad stop. The LP guy had gone a couple months without an apprehension. That very day the district LP manager was in the store. LP guy made a bad stop, and was fired.

aidenchaos17 karma

Exactly. Which is why I'm very careful.

GruffalosChild4 karma

Thanks, that's interesting to know.

aidenchaos6 karma

As I posted in a previous post, I also value my reputation. I don't want to have a bad rep, I want companies to fight to have me on their LP team lol.

DartzIRL11 karma

I'd ask if you've seen any that work really well, but if they really work well I doubt you've seen them.

So. Maybe something traditional?

Daftest 'surefire' scheme to get away with it?

aidenchaos17 karma

If it works really well, that doesn't mean I can't catch it on video later. I've seen kids that walk in and ask to leave their back packs at the front, makes them seem less "suspicious" and then they conceal only small items in their pockets. (Queue gollum's what's it got in its pocketses?). Cosmetics are usually the hardest to pin on a shoplifter when its a female and the cosmetics are put in a purse. But that's when you have to be absolutely POSITIVE on what cosmetics they are taking. Yesterday I had a guy take a bottle of absolut vodka to the register, ask for a pack of cigs, and as soon as the cashier turned to get them he grabbed the bottle and ran. I chased him down but still. It was a good effort.

Zomg_A_Chicken8 karma

Are you fast or was he really slow?

aidenchaos30 karma

I am in athletic shape and a former Marine. I run pretty fast.

purplekissofstardust2 karma

Why do you need to be sure what they are taking? Can you look through a lady's purse?

aidenchaos3 karma

Depends on the company, but yes, you can. You have to be sure they are taking merchandise, otherwise, you can get a bad stop, and run the risk of being fired

aidenchaos5 karma

Also, you can never be sure you aren't being watched. Even when you don't see a camera, doesn't mean there isn't one... Pin hole cameras are amazing for that. And just because you get away with it once, doesnt mean you actually got away with it. If I can prove that you stole something, I can case build, and when I do catch you I can charge you for everything I can prove.

allenahansen11 karma

What do you look for when you're scanning a crowd for potential miscreants?

aidenchaos19 karma

Honestly any potential suspicious behavior. And my gut feeling. 8/10 times my gut is right. But if the store is slow I try to watch as many people as I can, because its always funny to watch someone pick their nose or a wedgy lol.

allenahansen9 karma

Someone once told me they look at the shoes. If they're inappropriate to the store's merchandise, they get special scrutiny.

What obscure behavior constitutes "suspicious behavior" (other than say, an overcoat in the middle of summer, for example?)

Thanks for the response.

xcmt22 karma

I did LP for a large bookstore chain that no longer exists. Not to step on an AMA but I can provide some input. Suspicious behaviors:

  • A group of people entering the store separately but then all lingering immediately around each other for an extended duration. Teams of organized thieves will always come in the door 30-45 seconds apart, but they're usually not bright about mixing up their positioning once they're selecting/staging merchandise.

  • Moving/touching a lot of items. Somebody constantly walking with product and placing it back where it doesn't belong is probably "staging", which is collecting all the items he wants to take into one small area where he can make his move later.

  • Looking at only one thing for way too long. The guy reading the back of the same CD case for fifteen minutes is probably a lookout. He's got a specific spot chosen to monitor sight lines from cameras and employees, so he can't move, and he'll typically be lazy about switching up what he's looking at.

  • A car standing/temporarily parked right outside your doors with a driver at the wheel. The only reasons for a vehicle to chill by the doors are if there's a handicapped passenger getting in/out or because it's the getaway vehicle.

  • Somebody asking you a string of questions that don't seem to link to one another in any sensical way. It's a way to pin an employee down to a particular spot and hold their attention while partner(s) are moving/heisting product elsewhere. You can generally tell when somebody is trying to get some legitimate consumer help and when somebody is just wasting your time.

  • Bringing a store-branded bag back into the store and not heading straight to the returns line.

aidenchaos14 karma

Yes, These are all tactics utilized for various types of merchandise. Also they tend to have mixed races dressed "stereotypically" enter at different times. Had a white lady, well dressed in a business skirt and blouse , enter just prior to a black couple dressed "ghetto". They were all together going for liquor bottles. Saw the black female conceal a bottle of Canadian mist whiskey then make her way to the bathroom. Oddly enough my wife and kids were in the store and my son chose this time to have to go potty. My wife walked into the restroom just as the lady was pulling off the EAS tag from the bottle. She dropped it in the garbage and left very quickly. Well, as I'm watching the lady exit the restroom and my wife walk out right behind her carrying the bottle on camera, I see the white lady grab a bottle of captain Morgan and put it in her purse. She went to exit and I ran and stopped her at the exit. Reviewing video shows the group getting out of the same truck, with an unknown driver who turned out to be the white lady's boyfriend. Mind you none of this is intended to be "racist", and sorry for any offense. To be honest, and I'm surprised I haven't gotten this question yet, the most popular question is do you catch more black people, or white people. I've honestly caught more white and pacific islanders that I have black people or Hispanic or Asian.

aidenchaos14 karma

Shoes are one thing you look at. You also look to see if the person is doing "dome checks", looking for cameras. Also, attempting to appear to be looking at merchandise, but it looks like their head is on a swivel, as they look all around them. Entering and exiting a store multiple times, and doing laps around the store. This is known as casing a store. We have other sayings, such as felony fur, people who wear fur hooded jackets tend to steal, also people who wear north face jackets. Mind you not everyone who wears these items does shoplift, its just a huge trend where I am. Guilty Gatorade is known as someone who steals one thing but pays for a drink or candy bar, something small, so they either don't look as suspicious, or to feel less guilty about stealing.

florinandrei16 karma

Shoes are one thing you look at. You also look to see if the person is doing "dome checks", looking for cameras. Also, attempting to appear to be looking at merchandise, but it looks like their head is on a swivel, as they look all around them. Entering and exiting a store multiple times, and doing laps around the store.

Dammit, I do all of these because I'm a computer geek, I like to do my shopping quickly, and I walk a lot. Also, I'm a bit of a scatterbrain. Never stole anything.

Also, my shoes are usually junk.


aidenchaos6 karma

Shrug, it happens. But like I said, it doesnt always mean someone is going to steal.

BringInTheCloser11 karma

What is the story about the old lady having a heart attack?

aidenchaos10 karma

Pretty self explanatory, older lady had a heart attack in Target, luckily while I called 911 there was and off duty EMT, who proceeded with CPR and all that fun stuff. It was kinda scary, and I hope to not see that again.

BringInTheCloser13 karma

Oh, I thought the lady had a heart attack while shoplifting

aidenchaos12 karma

Lol no thought I have had a guy claim he was having one cuz he thought he'd just go to the hospital not jail. This was a guy that I had $900 case on

PinkkStarss9 karma

Why do loss prevention guys blame the store employees when the "numbers" show that there is a bigger "shortage" then last quarter as if we allow ppl to shop lift? We just had a meeting after closing and the lp guy sort of went off on us.

aidenchaos13 karma

Only thing I can think of is that customer service is the first line of defense when it comes to shoplifting. But at the same time, if I'm going to shoplift, I'll find a way to do it regardless. Security devices on product don't even stop shoplifters. Sooooo, kinda stupid that he went off on you.

PinkkStarss7 karma

I didn't take offense to it because I "customer service" every person that walks through the door but I just found it silly that he did that. It's a huge department store and he's the only guy so i'm guessing he just needs help.

aidenchaos8 karma

Probably, but I'm also the only guy between 2 stores, about 15 miles apart lol.

gorillaknights5 karma

A lot of a stores shrink usually involves shrink in the backroom. Merchandise not being received, and the store gets charged for it. Merchandise not being scanned in correctly. Things like that contribute to a lot of shrink.

aidenchaos6 karma

This is true point. Which is why I also have to ensure that procedures and operations are up to par

pixelatedtree7 karma

How did you get into loss prevention to begin with?

aidenchaos14 karma

Look on lpjobs.com or under jobs> security on craigslist. Look for entry level positions, if you have military back ground DO NOT brag about how well you can shoot a rifle. That has nothing to do with the job. Talk about your leadership traits and integrity.

btdtria7 karma

Do stores really have a budget for stolen items? If so how big is it?

aidenchaos8 karma

There's not necessarily a "budget" but when it comes down to it, as long as your shrink is less than the previous years inventory, you're doing better and that makes the company happy.

Whampa7 karma

Two questions.

One, do you think people steal because they are desperate and actually need what they are trying to steal, or is it sort of a adrenaline rush/prestige thing? Basically, why do people steal?

Two, does a more elaborate plan have a better chance at success, or are speed and simplicity more important to getting the goods out free?

aidenchaos8 karma

1) people steal some things like medicine,because they are sick and need it.=desperate. Other than that, people steal to make a livelihood, such as taking to stuff to swap meets to sell. These people are known as boosters. A lot of it is people who want an adrenaline rush, but honestly the rush I get is ten times better, because I know I'm not the one getting in trouble. People also steal because they can't afford the drugs they want. Had a guy steal $250 of merchandise to pay for his cocaine habit.

2) never hit the same store more than once. Eventually someone will catch on. Speed helps, but you never know what will happen . off duty cops like to help out lol

steakbbq7 karma

I noticed that you only get 37 hours a week. How does it feel getting fucked by a company you are protecting the interests of?

aidenchaos9 karma

Great. Not really. But I needed to get out of my last company due to issues with the store manager being an absolute bitch, and difference in views on lp.

aidenchaos9 karma

Also, still looking for that one awesome company that will give me a full 40 hrs and pay me what I'm worth.

XFY-7 karma

As someone that works in a high shrink retail store I wish we could hire LP but unfortunately the mangers (myself and two others) have to run the store and at times run the register. This sucks when you see that person you've been trying to catch for stealing come in and you're stuck at the register and can't watch the camera's. If you're wondering I work at Dollar General in the most ghetto/crackhead/prostitute infested part of town. Oh how inventory is gonna suck this September

aidenchaos6 karma

I sympathize with you

gray_matter_236 karma

What was the most obvious case of shoplifting that you have ever seen or heard about?

aidenchaos10 karma

Guy walks in the door, not wearing shoes, only white socks. Walks to shoes, puts on a pair of black skate shoes, goes to walk out the door. Saw this, and arrested him 2 months later for a total of about $250 worth of stuff.

birtydurger6 karma

Ever worked in a bar? That must be a gold mine on spotting employees stealing

aidenchaos8 karma

No I havent worked in a bar, but my store does sell liquor. We keep a VERY close eye on it...

aero19926 karma

Ever wanna go into law enforcement?

Are you in plain clothes or a uniform most of the time? If plain clothes, what tactics do you use to survey someone so that they don't notice?


aidenchaos7 karma

I actually have an application in at a police department right now. I am mostly plain clothes, I'm required to wear dickies or khaki cargos for pants tho. I use cameras in my office, and I use the sales floor when doing physical observation. Such as end caps. We also have reflective ceiling panels in which I can be an aisle or two over and still see the culprit.

8978788778885 karma

A combination of buying the same things and knowing where they are exactly, hating shopping, and long legs means I walk through the store extremely fast. is this suspicious?

aidenchaos3 karma

Not necessarily. It would be to my store manager, who calls everyone out, but I always take her with a grain of salt.

jcsh5 karma

What are the some most interesting ways you seen peoples shoplift and some of the most obvious ways?
When you catch someone shoplifting what exactly do you do? Do you call the cops right away or do you simply go to that person and tell them you saw them on footage stealing? Thanks for replying by the way!

aidenchaos11 karma

I also have gone as far as to show the person themselves on camera, concealing or ripping something out of the packaging. Most of the time they go oh... That was stupid...

SockGnome10 karma

I had a woman legit stay "that's not me" as I played back my tape. I called the cops because fuck dealing with that nonsense.

aidenchaos8 karma

Lol I've had that too

purplekissofstardust6 karma

Do you ever just let people off with a warning or a ban from the store? Are there different degrees of thievery and punishment?

aidenchaos6 karma

Yes there are times I just give a warning and ban someone from a store. Depends on dollar amount, and if I feel like doing the paperwork.

aidenchaos11 karma

I am able to detain a shoplifter myself, I do not need to call local police. If the person threatens me physically I am able to take reasonable defensive action. If its verbal I attempt to call 911 so the operator can here the verbal threats. If I feel endangered by a verbal threat I am able to take defensive action accordingly to keep myself or another associate safe. I am underestimated a lot because I still look early 20's. Fact is I'm 28, and a former Marine. I weigh 150 lbs, and took down a 240 lb. Woman and put her in cuffs because she decided to tell me that I couldn't touch her, then attempted to stiff arm me out of the way.... Joke was on her... And I still have the video. As far as interesting, I had a guy that wore a pair of sweat pants under his jeans. He would put packs of baseball cards down his pants, and they wouldn't fall out due to the elastic around the ankles of the sweat pants.

hausehunter5 karma

The LP officer for my company says that big chain stores like Wal-mart, Target, etc don't pursue active shoplifters unless they suspect they've stolen above X amount of dollars. Is there any truth to this? I work for a store that buys used dvds/blu-rays and we have people that regularly sell suspicious product, often with stickers from this retailers and I don't get how they get away with it for so long.

aidenchaos6 karma

I can't speak for Walmart, target yes, and the last two companies I've worked for don't care if its $1 or $1,000 lol

Owl_Eye4 karma

Is it true that lining a bag with foil can bypass store RFID gates?

aidenchaos5 karma

Depends on the gates. Some companies use better ones than others. In my experience, it hasn't worked in the favor of the shoplifter, because regardless of whether or not the towers go off, if the lp sees you do it, they can still apprehend you. And if you are caught with a foil lined bag you have a greater chance of attempted ORC charges. Organized retail crime= bad days.

Bunch-of-Richards4 karma

I just like to say as a newly employed loss prevention officer in the UK. I can say that some of your points and scenarios that youve put on this AmA have been insightful.

Ive been doing the job for around 2 weeks on one of London's busiest retail streets. And besides our job being mostly internal at the moment (due to LP being introduced to this store barely 3 months ago). Its a great job and having retail experience from coming from the bottom of the barrel to running stores, i can safely say that I've made a good career choice thus far.

aidenchaos7 karma

I'm glad you've found it insightful, and feel free to hit me up for any thoughts/advice, if you want.

beetnemesis3 karma

What's the best way to shoplift?

aidenchaos22 karma

Be a small business owner so you are stealing from yourself.

MrDeadlyHitman3 karma

Although you talked a little about it in the description, what is the most dangerous situation you have personally been in?

aidenchaos8 karma

Technically, I had a guy run out the fire door with a 40" TV a few years back. I went to go out after him and escort him back in. Him and his buddy were loading the TV into the back of a truck, later found out it was a stolen truck too.anyhow, the guy looks over at me, pulls his shirt up to reveal a cherry wood colored handle revolver. Fuck that. So I went back inside, called 911, and waited for a response. They weren't able to catch the guys.

SpaceCowboy583 karma

How much loss do you prevent compared to your salary?

Do you think it is mostly for the company to have a net savings, or is it more of a "we don't care that we lose money to prevention, we do it to fuck you over for stealing" justice type function.

aidenchaos3 karma

I prevent more loss than my salary. I make $13/hour at 37 hours per week. A lot of my stops from alcohol range up to $50 to $200 , multiple per week, and everything else from cosmetics to Pokemon cards is $5 to $120 a stop. This isn't including the restitution that the company get on top of what the merchandise is worth. Restitution can range up to $650 on top of the initial value, and this helps cover the cost of shrink that I don't catch. Because no, I don't catch EVERYTHING.

tigerevoke42 karma

What is the funniest/most comical technique you've seen? Do you think there are any techniques that people actually get away with?

aidenchaos4 karma

Had a guy look right at the camera, like we made eye contact thru the camera, as he was putting stuff in his back pack.

revjeremyduncan2 karma

Have you ever made a false stop? I worked loss prevention for about a year at a retail store, and they were very strict about having video proof when stopping someone. If we didn't have them on tape (DVR) entering the store empty handed, picking up the item, concealing it, and then following them with the camera 100% until the stop, we'd get reprimanded. I found it very difficult to do my job under those conditions.

I had a friend that also worked there, who made several false stops. He never documented them, so never got caught. He was a ballsy mother fucker. And lucky.

aidenchaos4 karma

Stated in another post, I'll repeat it tho, no, I have never made a bad stop. If I'm not 100% positive, I let it walk, and hope to catch the person next time. Its not worth my job to MAYBE get a stop. I don't have to have everything on video, mostly just the stop at which point I have the person unconceal the merchandise on camera before escorting them to the office. Safer prosecution that way. Cut and dry.

As long as I have all my 5 steps to make the stop, I will proceed.