The Most Common Shoplifting Methods

Shop owners are constantly fighting against shoplifting. The methods of shoplifting are so diverse that it is impossible for even the most qualified security personnel to predict shoplifter’s intentions. Professional thieves often use special shoplifting equipment to make things easier and successfully leave the store with a profit. In this article, we will have a more detailed look at the most common shoplifting methods.

"Oh, I forgot to pay"
One of the shoplifting methods is "accidental" theft. The thief takes a certain number of items and goes to the checkout. He pays for goods only partially. For example, he holds one item in his hand in plain sight, the very item he is going to steal. Holding the item, the thief puts the rest of the goods and leaves the store. It is unlikely that he will be caught, and even if detained, he may simply say that he took the item accidently. After all, the items were always in sight.

Booster bag
Today they rarely stop you at the entrance to the store with a request to leave your things in special cells. A customer comes to a store with a bag or backpack. While no one is looking, the customer puts the item in the bag and leaves the store. Professional thieves use special booster bags for all kinds of items. Modern bags use RF shielding fabric to jam RF tags. Moreover, manufacturers of this fabric sew bags or backpacks for customer’s needs fabric. No one will suspect something is wrong with such unique accessories.

Working with barcodes
Another shoplifting method is barcode counterfeiting. A thief can use ready barcodes from inexpensive goods. Then he sticks them over barcodes of more expensive items. This allows the thief to go through the checkout process, make payment, disable any security tags by the seller and leave without any suspicions. Moreover, if the store has a self-checkout service, a positive outcome for the shoplifter is guaranteed.

"I want to return the product"
One of the most common methods of shoplifting is the return of goods partially paid for with coupons. Lots of stores return the full amount of the item including the discounted coupon amount. Here the shoplifting method requires the involvement of more participants. Thieves shop at several stores. In order not to arouse suspicion, the other members must return the items back to the store. Accordingly, the store will return a larger amount than it was paid for the first time.

Reliable fitting room
Usually, this method of shoplifting is found in large clothing stores. The general loss prevention policy states that it is prohibited to detain thieves unless the employee has seen the actual theft. There is no CCTV camera in the dressing room and there is enough time to remove the security tags. Using a puller of this type detacher3, the thief can easily get rid of the tags and take the necessary goods out of the store.

It's time to run
New to shoplifting use the shoplifting method, which can work in some situations - grab what you need and run away. Employees will most often not chase a running teen with a packet of chips. The store policy speaks of the importance of safety not only for employees, but also for customers. However, when it comes to more valuable goods, professionals use jammers. And a very important thing - professionals do not run, but calmly go out. They do their job confidently and slowly. The advantage of the jammer is that you can take out the goods without removing anti-theft tags. Universal jammer from Bombastershop jams both RF and AM systems jammeramrf. It is enough to put it in your pocket and calmly leave the store. The power bank disguise would not raise any suspicion.

Use the goods in the store
One of the most common items to steal is pregnancy tests. A woman can choose the most expensive and high-quality test for herself and use it right there in the store toilet. Thieves often go to the store for a snack. There are more sophisticated methods using juice packs, for example. A thief enters the store with juice or cocktail and throws small items and jewelry into the package. When leaving the store, it is unlikely that anyone will search the drink.

Change of shoes
The thief asks the seller to bring a pair of shoes of the correct size. As soon as the employee brings the required size, the thief tries on and asks to change to another size. When the employee leaves again, the thief puts his old shoes in the box and leaves the store with new ones. Scenarios may be simpler. Some stores provide shoppers with access to shoe boxes. Thus, you can simply replace the old ones with the new ones. Thieves make sure that there are no tags on the pair itself, they are on the box and leave the store. If other employees suspect theft, the thief says it is worth taking a good walk before making a choice.

Power failure
It is very rare for shoplifters to experience such a lucky situation as a power failure. However, if he is already in the right place at the right time, the thief will use his luck to the fullest. In the event of a power outage, when all lighting and video surveillance systems are turned off, the thief quickly grabs as many goods as possible and quietly leaves the establishment before the electricity is restored.

Destruction of security stickers
Stickers work on different principles. The peculiarities of the differences are that they can be acoustomagnetic, radio frequency and electromagnetic. AM stickers have two dense metal strips of the same size inside; they are very vulnerable to bending and squeezing. RF stickers have a coil, a flat capacitor at the corner made of foil, and they are vulnerable to tears and cuts. As for the EM stickers, they are inside two thinnest metal strips that are vulnerable only to bending in half along the length. For more information on the differences in anti-theft systems visit faq-type-of-antitheft-system.

Shopping baskets
When the thief first enters the store, he picks up an empty shopping basket. He finds the item he needs and puts it on the bottom or under the child seat. The thief then proceeds to collect a small amount of the product and places it in the basket. At the checkout, he lays out all the items from the shopping basket, in addition to those he wants to steal. If the cashier does not pay any attention, the thief will usually be able to smuggle goods past them effortlessly. Having paid for smaller items, the shoplifter leaves the store.

Self-service tricks
In some of the larger retail chains, shoppers have the option of using self-checkout machines. Thus, customers do not interact with employees at all when shopping. Shoppers scan the items they want to buy, pay for the scanned items, then package the items and leave the store. Thieves buy small items with these machines and put additional items in their bags without paying. Many thieves deliberately get confused when using these machines and act as if they are trying to scan an item they want to steal. In case of suspicion, they can state that they took additional items by mistake.
The list of shoplifting methods does not end there. For example, receipt fraud deserves a separate article. However, the thief should always consider his next move and options for the possible course of events. A professional thief does not act spontaneously. He works confidently and safely using special shoplifting equipment. More useful information and the best shoplifting products are for you on the Bombastershop website
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