Grocery chain uses facial recognition to detect ORC activity

Monday, December 7, 2009

READING, Pa.—In an effort to identify individuals involved in organized retail crime, Redner’s Markets, a chain of 38 grocery stores and 13 convenient stores, has implemented facial recognition capabilities into its video surveillance system. Cory Deily, director of security and loss prevention for Redner’s, said that ORC groups will often hit one store after another as they travel up the Route 1 corridor from Baltimore.

Using facial recognition, investigators can identify individuals suspected of being involved in ORC and efficiently search through video footage from its other stores to see if similar activity is taking place there. Redner’s currently has deployed the technology in 13 of its stores along with enterprise servers, which connect all the units together, allowing investigators to search all units at the same time.

Implementing this technology largely reduces the amount of manpower hours required to search video, said Deily. “We also have the ability to do different types of searches and it cuts down on investigation time. Originally, to look at three hours of video, we were watching video for three hours,” he said. “Now we can investigate smaller things that we wouldn’t have looked at before because it was so time consuming, but now we can look at smaller problems because of the time savings.”

The system also integrates with the store’s data mining and exception-based reporting software. Store investigators can run different queries such as open department or return transactions and automatically pull up the associated video footage for review. “This is useful for retailers because it gives them insight into trends and suspicious activities at the trend level,” said Whitney Glockner, senior marketing manager with 3VR, which provided the intelligent surveillance platform to Redner’s.

In addition, Redner’s utilizes the directional search capability of the 3VR technology to identify individuals who are exiting the store through the entrance, for example. Having quality video also allows Deily to share video and information with other retailers who may also be impacted by the same ORC groups.