LPRC Integrate Walks Attendees Through an Aggressive Theft Scenario

The Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC) held a unique event on February 22nd, in Gainesville, Florida, with select retailer and solution provider members of the LPRC brainstorming the “what-ifs” surrounding a violent theft incident. The first in what will be a series, Dr. Read Hayes and his team of researchers had set up a theoretical theft event in order to get the attendees to start thinking differently about ORC-type incidents. By using a pre-recorded video of an incident, the retailers and solution providers were able to visualize what the LPRC team calls “bang” or the theft event itself, left of bang (pre-event), and right of bang (post event). Two offenders moved from a grab and run at a pharmacy, jumped into a vehicle, drove to another retailer, and committed a grab and run with a gun before their eventual apprehension by local police.

By taking a specific incident and breaking it down into pieces, the groups were able to think more deeply about and discuss the technology in use and what could further aid police and loss prevention. With five different law enforcement agencies, forty solution providers, and over fifty retailers, the breakout groups were able to have a more robust conversation about the specific incident and how it could be better prevented and subsequently handled through the use of technology.

Thanks to solution provider participation with the LPRC Lab, the participants were able to see solutions in a “real-life” scenario. Solutions that could help retailers prevent the incident included video technology with the ability to track license plates, vehicle types, and recognize facial features. When the incident moved inside the store, solutions included cameras in-aisle, gun detection, electronic article surveillance, and shelf sweep prevention. Imagine an alert being spread throughout the community which includes a full offender, vehicle, and theft description. Law enforcement could be on the lookout for the specific group and alert surrounding retailers to be aware as well. During the scenario, the fictitious retailer was alerted in their special operations center and communicated quickly with local police and their stores.

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Ultimately the bad guys were apprehended by police in the scenario, but the retailers in the discussion groups analyzed each step of the process to see where the gaps were and think about what technology could help in the future. Overwhelmingly, the attendees agreed that a way to quickly communicate between retailers and law enforcement is needed. The roadblocks to this continue to be governance of data with retailers and the concern about the possibility of a breach. Further discussion about ways to share data while maintaining anonymization was had in each group.

The passion in the groups to collaborate on mutually beneficial solutions was on full display, and the desire to help the industry was clear. The teams look forward to continuing the Integrate format in the future.

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