Loss Prevention Resources for Investigating and Reducing Retail Theft

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Stealing from a store

What is Loss Prevention?

Loss prevention is a form of investigation into larceny or the theft of items of value such as money, physical goods or services, usually from a business. The purpose of a formal loss prevention programs is, at its most basic level, is to “prevent losses”. This is accomplished by understanding where problems, theft, or “leakage” occurs and then implementing policies, procedures and controls to prevent further loss. This is sometimes referred to as reducing “shrinkage” (not to be confused with the Seinfeld definition of shrinkage). Retails also refer to the process as asset protection.

The primary focus of loss prevention investigations usually includes investigating losses related to:

  • Shoplifting by customers or clients
  • Package pilferage
  • Embezzlement
  • Credit and check fraud
  • Employee theft or internal theft
  • Skimming
  • Employees providing excessive discounts or free items to family or friends
  • Corporate fraud schemes

Who Manages the Function?

In most situations, a company designs, implements and executes their own loss prevention strategy. Company executives are usually responsible for developing the overall strategy and management at all levels is responsible for the day to day execution. In many cases, companies have dedicated departments, such as risk management or corporate security that focus on preventing losses. In some cases, outside consultants who specialize in loss prevention are hired to help develop the strategy and implementation plan, and may even provide the service as an outsourced service.

In situations where losses occur, the company then conducts its own internal investigation. This investigation is critical to gather evidence for proof of loss, which may be necessary for insurance claims. In more serious situations, law enforcement may be called in to investigate further and possibly to make an arrest.

Hire a Private Investigator

Private investigators are sometimes called in to investigate corporate crimes such as internal theft or corporate espionage. Hire a Private Investigator in your local area to evaluate your situation.

Books: Learn How Businesses Prevent Theft and Stealing

The following books provide helpful information on the subject of Loss Prevention, preventing corporate theft, embezzlement, employee stealing and crime prevention.  The loss prevention books help you:

  • Understand how people steal from businesses
  • How to identify loss patterns
  • Learn how to implement procedures and protocols to prevent or minimize losses
  • Learn the appropriate theories, techniques and equipment used to solve crimes of theft, embezzlement and shoplifting.
  • Build a professional library of reference books that will help guide you through the intricacies of investigations.

The Retail Manager’s Guide to Crime and Loss Prevention: Protecting Your Business from Theft, Fraud, and Violence (Paperback) Book Description – The most thorough, easy-to-understand counter-crime guide for retail managers ever created! Packed with succinct explanations of today’s most popular crimes and proven identification and eradication strategies eliminating them.

Handbook of Loss Prevention and Crime Prevention, Fourth Edition – This insightful book explains how to minimize losses from security breaches, internal and external theft and natural disasters. Provides practical advice. every important topic in the field, including the latest on high-tech security systems, homeland security, and many specialty areas.

The Retail Loss Prevention Officer: The Fundamental Elements of Retail Security and Safety (Paperback) – Book Description – Courses in Introduction to Security, Private Security, and Security Management. All aspects of safety and security within the retail premise are covered here in detail–making this text an invaluable part of the retail security officer training curriculum. It exposes students to the extent of functions, tasks, and prerequisites required to efficiently protect and preserve the assets of a corporation in the retail environment. The book also provides extensive information on the criminal/civil hazards and vulnerability security officers may face, and are at risk , in their profession.

Resources for More Information

Following is collection of resources for those who are interested in learning more:

LPJobs.com –  This website is an excellent resource for those who are interested in starting a career or finding a new job in the field. LPjobs.com is the leading retail loss prevention employment site that offers job seekers comprehensive resources for finding a job online.

Loss Prevention Magazine – A view into the world of preventing retail theft and stealing. Included in this site are archives of articles from the only magazine dedicated to the LP industry.

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