Simply put, change of perspective is to allow the subject to see the situation from a decision-maker’s point of view. Even though somebody has done something wrong, there are still two different ways to handle that situation: talk about it, or continue to lie about that happening. 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.
Few core competencies are as important to senior loss prevention executives as a proficiency in theft investigations. Whether it is knowing when to initiate an investigation, how to proceed with an investigation, or what to do with the investigative findings, most retail companies look to their senior LP executive for expert guidance.
Obviously, developing a proficiency Read More
Rationalizing and allowing a subject to save face is a very powerful tool. We want to make sure we’re doing it the right way. My challenge to you is: have you evolved in the way you deliver and understand the risks and importance of rationalizing with your subjects? Read More
The commonly used phrase “human lie detector” is a worrisome phrase. It’s worrisome when people think they can identify truth or deception simply based off somebody brushing lint off their shoulder. Read More
If a subject sees a stack of CDs or flash drives, that might cause them to ask you, “Hey, what’s on those? Can I see those?” We prefer to not release evidence to the subject in an effort to help substantiate a confession and make sure the admission can be Read More
The participatory approach is specifically used when there’s circumstantial evidence or that there’s a possibility that your subject might have an excuse, an explanation, so some type of alibi that may or may not be true. Read More
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 make bad decisions because of outside pressures. Read More
How do LP practitioners deal with the pressures of conducting internal theft interrogations in a forthright and honest way?What are the boundaries when it comes to obtaining an admission? Read More
Here’s one unfortunate reason: “If I work in a building with 500 people, surely somebody else will say something. It doesn’t have to be me.” Read More
I am constantly on the lookout for research studies conducted on the subject of theft by employees.
A few years ago, I came across a study conducted by Kessler International, a forensic accounting and investigative firm. In a press release from 2013, I found that Kessler had conducted an anonymous survey Read More