As you do your holiday shopping this year, you may notice an increased presence of armed security guards positioned strategically on the property, including inside the store. What you may not notice is the fleet of loss prevention officers who wear regular clothing and attempt to mingle with the crowd of holiday shoppers without standing out.
But make no mistake — these loss prevention officers have their eyes on you. You also are likely to be captured on their security cameras, which are typically manned in a back room of the store or mall. All this surveillance is enhanced and increased around the holidays to reduce the problem of “shrinkage.”
Retailers resent profits walking out their doors
While some amount of shrinkage may come with the retail territory, business owners in the past have had to absorb a staggering 37% of their shrinkage during the holiday season alone. They attempt to counteract this by increased vigilance of their customers and zeal in prosecuting those caught up in the retail theft web.
Employees aren’t excluded
Shrinkage is not just accrued by customers who steal merchandise. Retail workers are also considered to be a major part of the problem when profits dip during holiday rushes. Whether it’s failing to scan all items in an organized scam or products missing out the back door, business owners will do all they can to recoup their losses and discourage theft.
Easy to get caught in a prosecution dragnet
You don’t even have to steal merchandise to wind up accused of being an operative in a shoplifting ring. Simply accompanying the actual thief to the store, albeit unknowingly, could see you facing charges as an accessory or other felonies or misdemeanors (dependent upon the value of the purloined goods).
Don’t allow a shoplifting arrest to snowball. Take charge of your defense strategy right from the beginning.