A significant amount of a security guards abilities is based their skills of observation. While a security guards very presence in a particular building or business is a deterrent against criminals or other people with malicious intentions, presence alone is not enough to get the job done. If you’re working as a retail security guard, for example, one of the major factors that you need to watch out for is the clever shoplifter. There are professional shoplifters that make their living traveling around the beltway through Washington DC Metropolitan Area. A business in Silver Spring, MD recently experienced a group of shoplifters who repearedly stole from their store. These theives are a major part of the reason why many retail businesses in Maryland hire security companies. By paying attention to a few key warning signs, a security guard can identify security threats and handle the situation as needed in a much more effective way before they balloon into full fledged theft.
1. Look at How They’re Dressed
One of the most important ways to spot a shoplifter involves paying attention to how they’ are dressed. One of the most common shoplifting methods involves concealment, meaning that they’re trying to take an item and hide it on their person. This will often lead to shoplifters wearing baggie clothing or heavy coats out of season in order to aid them in this goal. If you happen happen to see a person who is already acting suspicious who is also wearing a heavy winter coat in the middle of a hot July day, you might be looking at a shoplifter.
2. What Are They Focused On?
Remember that the one thing that you can guarantee about a shoplifter is that they haven’t come into a retail store to shop like other customers. Whereas a normal customer may be engaging with store officials or other customers, shoplifters keep to themselves to try not to attract attention. They also focus more attention of what employees and security personnel are doing than the items for sale. If you find someone who is more focused on what is going on around them (particularly when it comes to employees) than they are on the products that they’ve supposedly come to “buy,” you’re looking at someone who you should start paying attention to.
3. Body Language
By far, body language is one of the single best tools that a security guard has in order to successfully spot a shoplifter. If a person appears nervous, particularly when interacting with store employees, you’re looking at someone who may be moments away from stealing the item that they’ve been carrying around the store.
4. Item Transportation
When you think about how a regular person shops, it doesn’t normally involve carrying a single item around the store to various locations for huge periods of time. A standard customer may move an item from one section to another, but it’s normally with a shopping cart and is a small part of a much larger purchase – particularly around the holidays. If you see one person grab an item from a shelf and carry it around with seemingly no intention of putting it down again, they may be looking for an ideal place to remove that item from its packaging and carry it out of the store.
5. Be Wary of Distraction
One common technique that shoplifters use is distraction. This typically happens when shoplifters work in teams. Two or more people will enter the store and one will try to do everything they can to distract the security guard while the other will shoplift without issue. If you are ever specifically contacted over other employees by a customer who just can’t seem to leave you alone but also doesn’t seem to be interested in what you have to say, a shoplifter may be elsewhere in the store and you should assess the situation to see what is really going on.
These are just a few of the many ways that you can spot a shoplifter while on the job. Remember that from the perspective of the shoplifter, so much of what they’re trying to do depends on staying one step ahead of security personnel: this means you. By always staying observant and by keeping your eyes open for these warning signs, you’ll put yourself in a much better position to stop them in their tracks wherever possible. You will also have the appreciation of the security company your work for and the clients you are serving. It you are looking for a securiy services please go here