Can We Lock People In Or Delay Exit?

So before the rants come in. I am aware of free egress.

I just left a site. The summary is it is a boutique store with several million $ in inventory. two floors approximately 20K sq feet total. Usually one person working. A group came in, picked out merchandise on the 1st floor, then had the associate take them upstairs. One person from the group faked going to the car and picked up the merchandise from the 1st floor.

They are still totaling but estimate 300k in losses.

Of course the costco special failed....

So a new camera system is being discussed with TV's upstairs,downstairs, and phone access so associate can see everything when upstairs.

Is there ANYWAY to lock the front door to where the associate can "buzz" them out or delay the exit?

Would a talk with the AHJ help? I know we wont change their mind but maybe they have some exceptions?

Do pawn/gun shops still buzz people out? Its been 20 years since I have been in a pawn shop.

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