The holiday season represents hustle and bustle as shoppers cram into stores to shop for friends and family members. However, with the chaos that often distracts the most diligent security guard comes the possibility of shoplifting rings invading their retail space.
The recent trend of “snatch-and-grab” sees these groups invading stores. Featured on television and garnering banner headlines, countless collectives are overtaking stores and walking out with merchandise that these rings then resell for a premium. However, Congress’s recently passed INFORM Act will force social media platforms to identify fencers of stolen merchandise.
Evening the odds?
Loss prevention departments nationwide have also reviewed their previous strategies while coming up with new ideas to counter unwanted “customers.” However, the visuals aired on media platforms that see staff standing there watching the chaos without acting only encourage more of these antics.
Police departments believe stores should step up protecting inventory, precisely the “Black Friday” strategy of putting high-profile items near entrances. Additionally, store policies discourage staff to take action when these groups walk out with free merchandise. One study cites 41 percent of retail outlets nationwide enforcing that mandate.
Beefing up law enforcement presence is another strategy that police and proprietors believe can make a difference. Instead of running free into the streets, police can actually do their version of “snatch-and-grab.”
In unmarked cars, law enforcement waits for notification of an alleged shoplifter leaving with un-paid merchandise. The coordinated effort can lead to detainment and a subsequent arrest.
Trends aside, many alleged suspects in stores to legitimately shop face wrongful accusations due to so-called associations with those who are actually committing crimes. Help from an attorney can help get to the facts.