Retail Theft On The Rise & Problematic For These Top 10 Cities

Here at VinTech, we know theft is a tremendous concern for any retailer, and unfortunately, it happens to everyone. We recently blogged about the CNBC show, Crime Inc., who included a segment on retail theft, and it’s on the rise.

A new study reveals that retailers lost more than $37 billion to theft in 2010, an increase of nearly $4 billion compared to the previous year. Of the 129 retail companies surveyed this year, nearly all (94.5 percent) have been the victim of organized retail crime in the past 12 months. Retail theft includes shoplifting, employee theft, administrative error and vendor fraud.

The data comes from the latest National Retail Security Survey (NRSS) preliminary results, and is conducted annually by The University of Florida (UF).

The increase is possibly due to the prevalence of organized retail crime (ORC), says UF criminologist Richard Hollinger, Ph.D., who directed the survey. “The National Retail Federation  just completed its own survey showing an increase in ORC activities,” he says. “More than 95 percent of retailers said they had been victims. Almost 85 percent indicated that the problem had gotten worse over the last three years.”

Similar to previous years, employee theft played a major role to the increase. Businesses lost $16.2 billion in employee theft or more than 43 percent of the total. Shoplifting and ORC closely followed with a loss of $12.1 billion or 33 percent of the total losses. More than one in ten (13%) said that ORC apprehensions lead to some level of violence such as physical assault and/or battery.

The cities most problematic for ORC rings are:

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Dallas, TX
  • Houston, TX
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Miami, FL
  • New York, NY/Northern NJ
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Phoenix, AZ

What Can We Do to Combat Theft?

IP Cameras: These cameras produce sharp image quality, and have the ability to zoom and enlarge far better than analog- imperative for identifying clear details of faces, items being purchased, license plates, forensic detail, loss prevention, and general surveillance. They also have increased motion detection and clear picture, even in poor lighting.

Remote Monitoring: Remote monitoring allows for management, owners, employees, etc to observe the conditions of their store, warehouse, parking lot, etc from any remote location that has Internet access, even your Smartphone. VinTech even offers video monitoring services that includes video verification (for incidents), supervision of scheduled events (ex. opening a safe), and general surveillance.

Video Analytics: Analytics pick up unusual behavior such as a large amount of over-the-counter medication bottles disappearing into the coat of a shoplifter. The system can also follow a suspected shoplifter throughout the store recording movements and alerting store management.

VinTech has the right tools and knowledge to help loss prevention. Please call us immediately to discuss your theft concerns!