The tragic state of loss prevention

 - 
01/15/2010

During several of the loss prevention events I've attended recently, I was surprised to learn how brazen criminals have become. It is more and more common for thieves to fight back when confronted by store personnel and many loss prevention departments are now instructing their personnel not to pursue criminals, even when they know a theft has occurred.

And here's why.

Sadly, a Kmart loss prevention officer died after he attempted to stop two people from stealing more than $400 worth of CDs from a store in Michigan.

Witnesses told police the officer had chased after a man, who left the store and jumped into a 1994 GMC Jimmy parked outside the front door and driven by a woman. The officer somehow became entangled in the door or window of the vehicle, which began to drive off. Police said he was dragged several hundred feet before falling to the pavement.

This is obviously a tragic indication not only of our times, but the difficulties that loss prevention officers face. How can you stop merchandise from being stolen if it's too dangerous to actually attempt to physically apprehend criminals? Do loss prevention departments need to start equipping their staff with weapons (I'm thinking pepper spray, not guns) in order to stop theft?

Comments

Pepper spray, asp baton and given them limited police powers at the store location and better training that could make a differents but you still will not stop all theft from happening. Be more proactive, have officers undercover and the use of the CCTV system in the identifying and apprehending the person if they get away. I was train to never chase after no one once they get outside the doors.