We’ve barely waded into the hectic holiday shopping season, but retailers are already preparing for a rush of returns after the big day — and the scams that inevitably go along with them. [More]
A man hired to keep thieves from stealing from a New York Macy’s was allegedly doing the pilfering himself, making off with more than $69,000 worth of perfume. [More]
A CVS customer tried to return some batteries without a receipt, and was told that she wouldn’t be allowed to. Oh, well: she went to leave the store with her merchandise, and an unidentified man dragged her back inside the store. He was a CVS loss prevention officer, it turns out, but she claims he didn’t identify himself. [More]
The job of a retail loss prevention officer is pretty clear — don’t let people steal stuff, and if you see someone who is, call the cops. But one Target security worker claims that after he reported a shoplifting suspect who may or may not be a police officer, he was fired. [More]
A 23-year-old Massachusetts man who had recently started work as a security guard at Macy’s has been accused of doing the exact opposite of his job description. Police say that the guard and three accomplices, including his younger brother, tried to steal 83 items worth a total of $4,800 at current holiday-sale prices. [More]
Yesterday, we posted the claims of a Best Buy employee who says that his store and others have been pulling loss prevention staffers (aka receipt checkers) from the front of the store, which he believes has resulted in an increase of shoplifting at these stores. We asked any other Best Buy employees to chime in on these claims — and y’all responded.
A Hawaii couple was tossed in jail and their child taken by protective services for 18 hours after the mother forgot to pay for her sandwich at Safeway.
Yesterday, Cherie was shopping at a Target in Cincinnati when she claims she witnessed a Target loss prevention associate “brutally detain, wrestle, strike and choke a shopper for more than three minutes.”
A Hobby Lobby employee asked Joe to leave his Maxpedition Versipack–I was going to call it a man purse, but it’s so aggressively utilitarian that I think it gets a pass–at the front counter before he shopped in the store. That’s unfriendly but not that weird, considering the loss-prevention strategies some stores use. However, they let his wife continue with the exact same bag attached to her hip, I guess because women can’t steal.
The thing about locking up all of your merchandise behind glass is your customers can’t actually buy it. Well, they can if you have employees who give a damn about helping a customer. This Walgreens in Brooklyn does not have those kind of employees.
Here’s a sad story from Wichita, KS: A Walmart customer service manager noticed a man walking out of the store with a computer. She stopped him to ask for his receipt after the alarm went off and got punched and kicked for her trouble. After that, she got fired.
If security guards start carrying guns at department stores, I’m going to stop referring to them as rent-a-cops. Not because they’ve suddenly jumped up on my respect-o-meter, but because they might open fire. At a mall in Virginia last Sunday, a J.C. Penney security guard pursued a shoplifter into the mall parking lot and fired a gun into the air. The shoplifter was arrested, and the police confiscated the guard’s gun. The store won’t say whether it was owned by the guard or issued by management.
I’ve stopped shopping at the two large drugstores in my neighborhood because they’ve put all the antiperspirant behind plastic flaps, like bagels at a supermarket. When you lift the flap to grab a Right Guard or Speed Stick, an alarm goes off that makes it clear to everyone in the store that you’re a potential criminal with stinky pits. My guess has been that this embarrassing anti-theft deterrent is needed because there’s almost no staff at either store anymore, and a new retail survey and a couple of loss prevention experts seem to back that up.
Reader Matt wants to share his technique for waltzing past the Walmart receipt checkers with a minimum of hassle. The secret? Be super nice, but don’t stop walking.
A South Carolina woman died shortly after a run-in with Walmart loss prevention. Was the asthma sufferer’s death a coincidence, caused by the stress of being caught by security, or something even more sinister than that? Test results and a review of surveillance footage should clarify the situation somewhat in a few months.
In the comments to our most recent receipt check story, I noticed a reader argued that as long as the store wasn’t willing to reimburse him for his time, he wasn’t willing to give it to them. It makes sense; nothing in the marketplace is free, right? Why shouldn’t consumers be compensated for bag searches and receipt checks?
Another reader, Adam, suggested a similar idea in his email to us this morning. In fact, he thinks maybe the exiting-the-store moment could be a chance to make a little extra cash.
Gift cards may encourage spending, but they also make it easy for employees to steal, writes the New York Times.
Among the variations of such crimes, cashiers often do fake refunds of merchandise and then, with the amount refunded, use their registers to electronically fill gift cards, which they take. Or sometimes when shoppers buy gift cards, cashiers give them blank cards and then divert the shoppers’ money onto cards for themselves.