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Are Anti-Theft Devices a Thing of the Past?

Whatever the reason, crime is falling 

With increased sophistication in video and other security technologies, are anti-theft devices becoming irrelevant to loss prevention?

Whatever the reason, crime is falling. A recent article in Forbes probed the reasons behind falling crime rates, citing everything from economic conditions to generational change. But one of the most pervasive reasons that has been put forward has to do with new technologies. Technology has certainly changed in the past decade as the world has joined social media and adopted new technologies. In a world where a break-in at a mobile store not only generates headlines but tweets, Google alerts, and social bulletins from the local news, potential thieves are more likely to think twice about swiping that iPhone or getting together with their buddies to pull a smash-and-grab job on a wireless retailer.

Wireless retailers are also ganging up to counter the new threat from more sophisticated criminals. Wireless retailers are sharing information with each other, installing special shelving units, using more discreet anti-theft tags on wireless products, beefing up their return policies and conducting their own investigations. Recently a convicted shoplifter at Target shared his experience with more sophisticated security.

“I got through the first set of doors and as I went to leave the terminal doors two guys stepped in and addressed me by name and told me to stop,” he writes. “I made a half-hearted struggle and just gave up. These were two guys from the higher level of Target loss prevention. Not only did they know my name, they knew my apartment and started asking me specific questions about who else lived there and who drives the silver car that was there that morning. They had actually watched my apartment that day and followed me from my doorstep to the store in order to catch me in the act. They also knew the store I sold the discs, too, and asked me some general questions about that process.”

Perhaps no change has affected loss prevention as much as sophisticated video surveillance and analytics. Indeed, RFID tags, lock boxes and inventory control may become increasingly outdated as wireless retailers adopt more sophisticated video surveillance and apply cutting-edge applications not only to loss prevention but also to sales, marketing and other essential store functions. Today’s wireless retailers meet their inventory, loss prevention and security challenges through state-of-the-art visibility into daily store operations and sales across all stores. Video surveillance can track expensive handheld mobile electronics from the moment they arrive at the loading dock to the moment they leave the store via a legitimate sale. Not only are wireless retailers leaving behind outdated and often clumsy anti-theft devices but they are also improving the customer experience, providing operational consistency and increasing profits through reduced loss.

About the Author — Dawn Lampert

Dawn is responsible for helping Envysion’s enterprise clients in the retail and restaurant spaces determine which Envysion products and services will best meet their needs. Prior to Envysion, Dawn was with MegaPath and was responsible for selling complex Wide Area Network (WAN) solutions into retail and restaurants. Additionally, Dawn has delivered significant results for other start-ups such as Connect South LLC, Intrepid Communications and Advanced Radio Telecom. Dawn earned her Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations at Western Kentucky University.

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