When I was a doctoral graduate student at the University of Minnesota during the late 1970s, I began conducting research on employee theft. At the time this was an area of criminology that was virtually unexplored. I found that it was hard to study this subject then, since few retailers Read More
Employee Theft in the retail industry, also commonly referred to as internal theft, occurs when an individual steals from the company where they are currently employed. While other types of retail theft often garner more attention, employee theft typically causes the most damage to retailers on an annual basis, carrying the greatest financial loss and a substantial impact on the business.
In most situations, retail customers only have access to merchandise on the selling floor—which is protected by the sales team, loss prevention personnel, and various anti-theft systems and controls. Employees, however, have greater access to more systems, more products and more areas of the store than customers. They have access to merchandise in the stockrooms, receiving, or shipping areas where CCTV surveillance, EAS tags and other anti-theft devices may be less effective.
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They may also have access to cash from customers, register drawers, or the cash office. Those with access to the POS register system may be provided with ample means for other theft and fraud issues. Employees know the store team members, learn their habits, follow their schedules, and can take additional measures to avoid detection. Simply stated, employees have a much greater opportunity to steal. As a result, employee theft can affect a business much more quickly and to a significantly greater extent than most external theft incidents.
Employee theft incidents can occur in a variety of different ways. Theft of merchandise, cash and cash equivalents, product consumption, theft of equipment and theft of services are some of the more common issues. Yet as varied as the types of theft may be, there are even more different methods of theft that can used by employees to steal from their companies; only limited by the creativity of the individual and the opportunities that are presented. There are also a variety of reasons that can lead employees to make the ill-advised decision to steal. Personal issues, financial problems, peer pressure, drug and related dependencies, and coercion are just a few.
Most employees are honest and hard-working people with honorable intentions. However, when employee theft issues occur, it can lead to significant concerns that can impact the store in many ways, reaching far beyond the financial losses caused to the company. It impacts retail sales. It impacts retail shrink. It impacts the company brand and reputation. It also impacts all of the hard working associates who give their best each and every day.
In this week’s International Association of Interviewers interview and interrogation training tip provided by Wicklander-Zulawski, Dave Thompson, CFI wants to talk about you. What are you doing to improve yourself, whether professionally, personally, or specifically in terms of becoming an elite interviewer?
Step one is watching this video tip right Read More
Since 1980, the percentage of people in the United States who primarily speak a language other than English has grown by 158 percent while the nation’s overall population has risen by a comparatively modest 37 percent. Such individuals now total 60 million, and 42 percent admit to speaking English less Read More
In this week’s International Association of Interviewers interview and interrogation training tip provided by Wicklander-Zulawski, Dave Thompson, CFI discusses the importance of listening to a suspect when he or she is giving a narrative of some type of incident or event in which they may have been involved.
If you’re conducting Read More
May 10, 2017 | Christopher P. Norris, CFI, and Frank Borecki, CFI | Employee Theft
A few years back, I was asked to conduct my first telephone-based loss prevention interview with an hourly employee. He was suspected of merchandise theft, and my supervisor insisted that I conduct the interview over the phone as the suspect was 800 miles away in another state, and the case Read More
Many people believe when an individual refuses to make eye contact there is a strong indication the person is being deceptive. People also believe the gestures of the hands and arms while telling a story is an indication of a lie being told.
Academic researchers have spent a considerable amount of Read More
In this week’s International Association of Interviewers interview and interrogation training tip provided by Wicklander-Zulawski, Wayne Hoover, CFI discusses the way that you should dress for your interview with a dishonest associate. The way that the interviewer dresses definitely matters. Every research interview conducted by Wicklander-Zulawski has the suspects mentioning Read More
As most of you know, we have been actively recording our interviews since we opened our doors as Wicklander-Zulawski in 1982. While we use the recorded interviews to illustrate the techniques and strategies in our training sessions, we also use them as a means to monitor and measure our investigators. Read More
I have frequently heard managers conveying the wrong message when addressing associates about employee theft consequences. These managers say things like “Don’t steal, or you will get caught” or “We have a good loss prevention guy and he catches everything, so don’t steal.” “Don’t steal because it is not worth Read More
This week’s International Association of Interviewers interview and interrogation training tip provided by Wicklander-Zulawski, has Dave Thompson, CFI discussing identifying the appropriate rationalization during the interview.
When we rationalize with a subject, what we do is allow the subject to save face. We show understanding by realizing that sometimes good people Read More