Shopliftingís often the culprit behind pricier retail goods. Merchants lose billions each year through theft and pass the costs on to the consumer. Stores use a combination of systems to detect theft, but they don't always work
Retailers employ security personnel, closed-circuit cameras, anchor merchandise in place and tag items so they set off an alarm if not deactivated. The tagging system, or EAS (electronic article surveillance), can be embedded nearly anywhere, which is good since thieves are inventive when it comes to hiding contraband. They often use undergarments made especially for concealing stolen goods or place items inside shopping bags, clothing or even baby strollers.
It's not unlikely you'll spy someone shoplift during the Christmas season.
Think youíve seen a watch palmed or a nightgown placed in someoneís purse? Get involved -- but do it safely and keep your hands to yourself.
- Take a good look so you can describe the perpetrator, but donít be obvious.
- If the shoplifterís left the store and you can safely obtain a vehicle description or registration, youíre encouraged to do so. But take no chances.
- Never confront the person or try to stop him.
- And, finally, locate a store employee and advise him of your suspicions. Let the professionals handle it.
Many shoplifters work in organized gangs or teams. Often one will gather items together and deposit them in another place either in the store or dressing room, so her partner can conceal them. If you see someone carrying things from one spot to another and then putting them down, you could be watching a shoplifter at work.