Florida Region Contacts
Violence, Robbery, and Shoplifting – Store Safety Both amateurs and organized crime rings shoplift. Shoplifting occurs when a customer steals from a store, even if he or she has purchased other items. For a shoplifting conviction to occur, a person must mean to deprive the merchant permanently of the item’s value. Robbery is theft from a person by use of force or fear. If you do not resist a robber, the likelihood is high that the robber will not harm you. Violence in a grocery store can arise from a shoplifting incident or a robbery. Most people’s first instinct when they witness a crime is to stop the perpetrator. This is the most dangerous action you could take. Keep yourself and others safe. Do not try to stop or resist attempted robberies. When an employee confronts a shoplifter or robber, the suspect can turn violent. The suspect may have accomplices in the store or waiting in a vehicle. This person or people may join in the confrontation. Instead of confronting the suspect, remain calm and notice details. The more you remember, the better witness you will be. Always call your loss prevention department members if you witness shoplifting. They receive training on how to apprehend shoplifters and how to handle violent incidents, such as an attempted robbery. Here is what must occur to detain someone for shoplifting. 1. You must see the shoplifter approach your merchandise. 2. You must observe the shoplifter select your merchandise. 3. You must witness the shoplifter conceal, take, or alter your merchandise. 4. You must observe the shoplifter continuously. 5. You must see the shoplifter not pay for the merchandise. 6. Loss prevention personnel can approach the shoplifter only after he or she exits the store. Following this process helps you remain composed. Your store’s policy prepares you so that you can respond calmly, even if tempers flare. This training teaches you how to remain aware. Ask questions if any part of the process is unclear. Your store will use verbal codes to identify the crime taking place in a way that will not alert the perpetrator. (Write them here.) The code for robbery is ___________ and the code for Shoplifting is ___________ in (department). For aggressive behavior, threats, or harassment, the code is ____________ in (department). You may know the loss prevention employees, but do not ever acknowledge them in the store. Be aware of customers both as they enter the store, as they shop, and as they leave. Some experts believe that greeting customers lets them know you notice them. If they plan to steal, they might decide not to. Simply by saying “hello” you may prevent a theft. Report people who loiter, panhandle, or act suspiciously. Watch for shoppers wearing out-of-season clothing, such as a bulky sweater in the summer. Observe the color of a suspect’s clothing, hair color, and height or other factors. A description such as “she’s wearing red boots,” can help loss prevention locate the person in the store if you have lost sight of them. If your customers ask about your robbery policy, do not reveal specifics. Instead, refer to management anyone who asks about security or wants to know policies or procedures.
Florida Region Contacts Tips to stay safe during a potential shoplifting or robbery Do not attempt to stop a theft or robbery, even if the robber appears unarmed.
Give the person what they want. We can replace money or property; human lives we cannot.
Do not attempt to apprehend a shoplifter.
Do not make eye contact with a robber.
If you witness a shoplifting, use the code over the Public Address (PA) intercom to alert loss prevention. Try to keep that person in sight until loss prevention takes over.
If possible, rather than announce the code over the PA system, say the code to the nearest manager and let management take over.
Do not chase a suspect as he or she leaves the building. Let the loss prevention staff or the police handle that.
Call 911 as soon as possible and immediately notify a manager.
Following the rules will help keep yourself, your coworkers, and our customers safe.
Are You In The Zone? 1. What are two types of shoplifters? 2. Robbery is theft from a person using ______________ or ______________? 3. Should you try to apprehend a shoplifter? 4. The more details you remember, the better _______________ you will make. 5. Should you report panhandlers? 6. Should you ever chase a suspect once he or she has left the building? I have received information on Violence, Robbery and Shoplifting – Store Safety Employee Name: _____________________________________________ Date: ______________________ For additional information and resources on this topic and other safety and risk management subjects be sure to visit the Loss Control section on our website: https://www.amtrustgroup.com/small-business-insurance/claims/prevention AmTrust distributes this e-newsletter as a service for its customers. It is provided in the spirit of professionals sharing their work with each other. The information provided in this document is intended for use as a guideline and is not intended as, nor does it constitute, legal or professional advice. It is not intended to provide authoritative answers to safety and health questions. AmTrust does not warrant that adherence to, or compliance with, any recommendations, best practices, checklists or guidelines will result in a particular outcome. Before using the information here, the accuracy and appropriateness of the information to your specific situation should be verified by a person qualified to assess all the factors involved. CONTACT INFO:
PHONE: WEB: EMAIL:
AmTrust North America Loss Control 2605 Enterprise Road, Suite 290 Clearwater, FL 33759
888.486.7466 ext. 363275 www.amtrustnorthamerica.com [email protected]