Retail Surveillance Operator Secrets Revealed

Author: Carlton Purvis, Published on Aug 01, 2013

What's it like to be a surveillance operator? What problems do they face? How do they do their job?

We interviewed one with extensive experience at major retailers, both in management and operations.

Here are some of the key topics and lessons covered:

  • The 4 must-have elements of stopping a suspected shoplifter
  • The 5 top shoplifting scams faced
  • The hardest part of using cameras: remembering this information
  • Effective camera positions including using moveable cameras
  • Searching Footage and the issues they faced
  • Ranking the type of loss and why shrink is not number one
  • How surveillance differs between big box stores and warehouse store/cubs
  • How shoplifters are investigated
  • Tools being phased out including a very popular security category

****'* ** **** ***** ************ ********? **** ******** ** **** ****? *** ** they ** ***** ***?

** *********** *** **** ********* ********** ** ***** *********, **** in ********** *** **********.

**** *** **** ** *** *** ****** *** ******* *******:

  • *** * ****-**** ******** ** ******** * ********* **********
  • *** * *** *********** ***** *****
  • *** ******* **** ** ***** *******: *********** **** ***********
  • ********* ****** ********* ********* ***** ******** *******
  • ********* ******* *** *** ****** **** *****
  • ******* *** **** ** **** *** *** ****** ** *** ****** ***
  • *** ************ ******* ******* *** *** ****** *** ********* *****/****
  • *** *********** *** ************
  • ***** ***** ****** *** ********* * **** ******* ******** ********

[***************]

Key *******

****'* * ******* ** *** ******** ** *** **** *****:

  • ********* *** ***** ** ******* *** *** ******* **** ** using *** ************ ******.
  • ***** ** ******* ***** ** ***** ** *******, **** ***** pane *** *** ***** ** ** ******.
  • ********* *** ******* *** *********** *** ***** **** **** * shift
  • **** *** ***** **** * *** *******, ********* *********** *** a '*****'
  • ***** ***** ******** ***** *** * ****** **********.
  • ********* ****** *** ************* **** ************ *** ***** **** ******* retail ******.
  • ********* ***** ***** *********** ** ******* **** **** **** ****** recognition **** **** ** ***
  • *** ************ ******** **** **** **** ** ***** **** *** shoplifitng ******* ** **** **'* '**** ****'
  • *** *** ******** *** ***** ****** ***.

Daily *********

**** ********** *********** ** **** ***** ********* ******* ** * manager *** *** **********. *** ******* ***** ** “**** *******” investigations (*********, ******** *****, ************** ** ********** *********). *** ********** split ***** **** ******* ******* *** ***** (***** ** *********), monitoring ******* *** ******* ************** (********* ******** *** ****** *** shoplifting *********).

*** ******** **** *** ***** ************ ****** *** **** ** use **** ** ******** ** ***** * ***** ** *** job. 

“*** ******* **** *** *********** **** *** ***** *** *******,” he ****. ***** **** ** ********** **-****** **** ** ************ *** key. 

“** *** **** *** ******* ****, ***** ***** *****-**-****, *** have ** **** ***** **** ** ** *** ***** ** you **** ***** ***’** *******.  ********* **** ***’** ******* *** clock *** *** **** ** *********** ********* ******* ** *** need ** **** ** ***** ** ***** ********, **** ***** are *** ********* ***** *** ***’* ******** **** *** ** first. *** **** *** **** ** ** ******, *** **** it ******* ****** ******.  

“** *** **** ***** ** ***** ** ** *** ****, but *** **** ** *** ******* *** *** ***** ** get * *** ** ****** ** ***** *****. ** ***** sometimes **** ** ** *** ********, *** **’* ******* **** have * *** **** ***** ** ** * ****.” 

*** *** ********** **** ***** ****** *** ******* ******* *** floor *** ********** *** ******* ** ***** ** *** **** spent ******* ** *******. ****** ****** *** ********** ***** ****** the ********. 

“***’** ******** ***** ***** *** *** **** **** ** *** as **** **** *****, *** ***’** ********** ***** **** ****** to ******, ******** ***** ***** ** **** ****’** *****. **** they’re *** **********, *** *********** **** ** *** **** ******,” he ****. 

*** ****** ******** **** ******* *** ****** ** *** ***** to ********** ********. “*** *******, ** *** *** * ***** group ** ******* ***** ******* ****** *** ******* ******* **** big ****, ***’* ***** *** ****** ** *** ***** ** head ** **** *********.”

*** ** **** ** **** *********** *** **** ********** ** while ** *** ***** **** *** ******* *** *** *****, making **** ***** ******** *** *******, ******** ***** ** ********* fixtures *** ******** **** ************.

Maintenance *** *******

*** **** ***********, *** **** ********** ********** ** *********** *** daily *********** *** ******** *** *******. **** ***** *** * limited ** **********, *** ********* ******** **** ************ ******* *** new ****** ************* *** ******* ** ***** ***********.

Camera ********* *** *****

* “*****” ***** *** ****** *** ******* **** *** *********:

  • **** ******* ******
  • **** ***** ***** *********** (*******, ***********)
  • *********/*****
  • **** ******** (**** ****** **** *** ******)
  • ********** **********

*** ***** ******* *** ******* ********** *** ***** ** ******. Cameras *** *** ******* ** **** ******* ***** ** *** areas ****** **** *** ********** ***** *****. ** *** ** to *** ******** **** ********** ** ** ********* *** **** sure ****** **** *** **** **** **** **** **. 

***** * ******* ** ***** ******, ** ****** *** **** of *** *****, ******** ** ******** *******. “**** **** *** necessarily ** ******* ******, **** **** **** *** ********. *** want ** **** **** *******, [* *******] *** ** *** where **** **** *****. *** **** ** [********* ** ****** cities] *** *** ********** ** **** ** ** **** ******* plates.”

** ****** ******* *** **************:

“***** *** ** ******** ******** ******** **** *** *******’* ****** and ** **** ***** **, *** ** ****** ** *** it ****** ** ** **** * ****** ** ********* ** in *** *******’* ****** ***********. **** ** ****** *** ******, we ****’* **** **** **** ******* *** ** ***** ** somewhere ****.”

Searching *******

***** *** ** ***** *** ** ****** ******* ** *** of *** ******. ** *** ** **** ******** * ****** of ** ******** **** ***** ******** ****** *******. ** **** on ****** ************** ** ***** ***** **** ** * ***** searching ******* **** ** ****** ** ******* ***** ** ********. However, ** *** ******** *** ** ** **** * *** then **** ***** *****-********* *** *****. ****** ****** ** *** corporation *** ******** ** ***** ** ******** **** ****** ********* tracking *** ********* *******.

Employee ***** **. *********** **. ******

*** ******* **** ********* **** ** ***** ****** **** ******* the *****. “*** *********** ****** ***** ***** *********,” ** ****. “Being **** ** *** **** *** *********** ** **** **** an ***** ***** **** * ******* ******.” ** *******, * successful ***** ***** ****** *** ***** $**,*** *** ** *** store, **** *** **** ****** **** *********. 

“** *** * ***** * ****** ****** * ***** ** a *******. ****** ***** *** **** *** *** ** * cart, ** **** * **** *** ***** ***, ** **** they *** ***** *** ******** *** *** ***** ****** *** blamed *** **********. ** **** *** ****** *** ** ***** damages ******* **** **** ******* **** * ***** ***** **** another **** *** **** ** *** ****.” ****** ****** ******** seasons, *** ******** ********* ***** ** **** **** ********** ****** as ** *** *********** ***********.

*** ** ******* ***** ********* **** ******** ***** ** ** employee ******** *****. ****** ******* *** ****** ** ******* ** losses. At *****, ******** ***** *** ** **** ** ** ******* of ****. ***** ******* *** ********** **** ******* **** *** National ****** ********** ************ ******** ***** ** ****** ****** ** ** ********* ******. *** *** **** ****** ** ****** ** *******.

“***** ********** ***** * *** ******* **’* * *** ****** for ****, *** ** ********** ***** **** ******* ** * store, ******** ** ****** ********* ** ********,” ** ****.

***** ****** **** *** ***** *** ******** ***** *** *** store *** *** *** ** *** ****** *** ********* ******** from *** **** ******.

“**** *** *** ** *** ******* ****** ** *****. ** someone **** **** * ****** *** ** ***** ********* **** their *****, ** *** ****** **** **** ********* *** **’* not ****** ** ****** ****. **** *** ****** ******’* **** cases **** ****. **** ****** ******* **** ***** **** **** successful ************. ** *** ******** ****** ***** ** *** ****** but ****** **** **** ** ******* *** ***** *****. **** so, ** ******* ******** ****. ********** ****** ***** **** ***** the ******* ***** ** *** ***** *******. ****** ** ********* who **** *** ******* ***’* ****** ***** ****** **** ***** grab **** ** **** ****** ******* **** ** ******’* *** for **** ** **** **** **.”

*** ******** ****** ****** *** *** ****** **** ******* ***** *** blinds ***** ****, *** *** * **** **** ** *** to ***** ***** ***** **** ***** ****** ** ***** *****. 

**** ** *** ******* **** **** *** ******** ************ ** retail ********* **** ** ***** **.  

Retail ***** **. ********* ******/*****

**** *** *** **** *********** ** ******* ** * ********* store **. ****** *****:

  • ************* **** *******
  • ****** ** **** *** ****/***** ******
  • **** ********** ********** ** * ****** ******

**** ******** ** ******, ** ****, ******* ****** ** *** typically *** ** ***** **** ***** *** *** ******** *** checked ** *** ****. *** *********** ** **** **** ********** than *** ******* ****** ******.

Quality ** ********* ******** ** *** **** ** *** *****

********* **** ***** ****** *** ***** ******* ** ** ****** stores ** ****** **** ***** ***** **************. **** *** **** of *** ************:

** ****** ** ***** ***** *** ********* *** *****, **** more ********* ******** *** ***** ******* ******.

*** ****** ** ****** ****** ****** *** ** **** ******* in:

  • ****** ********
  • ******* **** ********* ********
  • ****** ******* **** **** ********** ** **** ** ** ******* plates

Shoplifting *****

** ****** ** *** ******* ****** ** *** *****. *** most ****** ********* ****** ***** ***** ******** **** ***** *** tag *********, *** **** *** **** ***** ***** ************ ******* played *** ******* ****.

****-***

*********** ***** *** *** ****-*** ** ***** * ***** ****** of *******, ***** **** ******** ***** ** *****. **** **** a **** **** ****** ***** (** **** * ***** ***** of ***** **** *** ****) *** **** *** *** **** without ******, ********* ******* * **** *******. ** **** ***** they **** *** ** ********* **** *******, ******* *** ***** into * ******* *** ****** ****** ********* *** ********* ***** exit ***** ** ***** *** *** **** ** *** ******. 

******** ****

* **** ** ************ *********** ******* ***** ******** *** ******* stores ** *** **** *********. *** ***** ******* ** ** a ******* *** *** ***** ** ********* *** **** ***** steal ***** **** **** ********* ***** * ******** *** **** obtained *******. ******** ******* ** *** ** *** ****** ******** license ***** **** *** ************ **** *** ****** ** ****. Wearing ***** ******** ** * ****** ****** ** **** ****** to ********** *** ******* *** *** **** ****. ***** ***** of ***** ******* ****** **** *** ***** ****** ** ****** are ** *** ******** (***** ** *** ******* ** **** at *****).

**** ********

************ *********** ****** ******* **** *** ********* ********, **** **** the ***** ** *** ******* ** *** ***** *** ******* refunds. **** ****** ********, *********** **** * **** **** *** same ***** ** * ******* *** **** ***. **** ** where **** ******** ****** **** **, *** ******** ** *********** says. “****’** ******** ** ** ******** *** ***** ** *** receipts ** **** *** **********, *** ***** ****’** ***** ** just ***’* **** ** ****** ****** ** **** ***’*.”

*** *** ***

** **** ******** *** ******** ***** ********, ***** ** *** “two *** ***.” * ****** ************ ********* * **** ****** item, * **** ****** **, *** *******. ** **** ***** the ***** **** ******** **** *** *** ******* ** ******* shoplifter *** ***** ** ********* ** **** * **** *** walks ***, ******* *** ******* *** **** *******.

******* ****

**** ******* **** * ****** ************ **** * ******** ** container, *** ***** ** **** ***** ***********. ** **** ***** the ******** ** *** ******** ** ** ** *** **** and **** *** ***** ******. **** ** * **** *** to ***** ** ***** ** ** ******* ** *** ********** filling *** ********.

Investigations **********

***** ** ********, *** ** **** ***** ********** ********* **** reviews ******* ** **** **** ********** *******. *** **** ***** burn ** ***** *** ****** ** ** ******** (*** ** archive *** *** *** ******).

“*** ***** ***** *** ****** ***** **** ** **** ** they ******* ** ** *** *** *******. **** **** ** make **** *** ******** ** **** *** ********* **** *** use.”

** *** ******** *** *** ****** ** ***** ******* ** the ******* *** *** ******, *** ***** ***** ****** * file *** *** *******. ** **** **** *** ****** *** first ****, **** ******* **** ** *** *****.

***** ******** **** * ***** ***** *****, *** ****** ********* knows **** * ****** ***** ****, ***** ******* *** ****** items. ** **** ** *** ******* ******** ** *** ***** the ****** ******** ***** ***** ******** ****. **** **** *****, a ********** **** ******. **** ***** ********* ** *** **********’* patterns, ****** ********* *** ****** ********. ****** ***** *** *********** ** confess ** ***** **** ***** **** ******* **** *** *** have **** **** ****** ** *** ***.

“**** ** ** ***’* **** ****** ******** *** ***** ******, we ***** **** *** ****** *** **** *** ** **** that ***** *****. ** ******* ****, **’* ****** **** ****** clear **** ***** **** **** **** **** ** *** *** the ****.”

** ******** ***** ********* ***** *********** ****** *** ***** **** facial *********** ******** ** ******* ** **** **** ****, *** “there ** ** ******** ******** ** **** **** ***** ****** come ****. ** **** ** ** ****** *** ****** **** the ******* ** *** ****.”

Four ******** ** * ******** * ********* **********

  • *** **** ** *** * ********** **** ** ****
  • *** **** ** *** **** ******* *** ****
  • *** **** ** ******** ****-**-***** ***** **** *** ***** ** leave
  • **** **** ** **** **** *** ***

*** ** ******* ******* ***** ****** *** ***** **** ********. An ********* *** ** ***** *** * *** **** *** shoplifters **** ****. **** **** * **** *** **: * bathroom ****.

“**** **** ** ** ***** ****-**-*****, **’* **** ****. **** say ***** ****, ‘*** ***’* **** **. * **** ** the ********’” **** ********** ***** *** *** ****** ** ** that *****. ** **** *****, ********** ***** ******** ** **** numbers ***** ***** *** ******.

“*’** **** **** **** ** ** ******** ******* ***** ****** a *** ****, *** ******* ** ***** ***** **** **** able ** *** *** ****** ** ***** ****** ***********,” ** said.

****-**-***** *** ** ************ **** *** ******* ** ** *** person ** *** ****** ** * *********** ** ****. *** example ** ******* ***** **** ******** *****, **** **** ****-**-***** with *** *******, *** * ****** ** *** ***** *** follow **** ******* *** **********. 

Loss ********** ***** ***** ****** ***

**** ********** ***** ** ******* *** *** ******** ******* ** a ***** ****** ** ******** ********** ***** ****** ** **** receipts. ** **** ******** **** * *** **** ******* ** they **** ********** ** * ******* **** ***** **** **** up ** *** ****** *** ********* ***** **** ** ***** the ****** **** *** ******* ***.

**** *** ******* *** *** ******* *** *** **** ******. “Think ***** **** ***** ***. ** *** **** ** * store **** ****** ***’* **** *** ** ***. *** ***’* hear **** ** *** *******. ***’** ***** *** **** ** a *** ** ****** *** *** ******** ** **** *** deactivated ***,” ** ****. “***** **** **** *** **** ***** alarms. **** **** *** *** ** * *** ** ******, including *** *** ******. ********* ***** ** ******** **** ***’** stopping **** *** **** *****’* **** ********.”

** **** **** **********, ***** ** ***** ******** *** ***** shrink ******* ** **** *** **** ** *** ******, ** says. *** ****** ******* **** ****** ** ** ******** ******** board. **** **** *****’* * *** ** ********* ******, ***** managers ***** ******** *** **** **** *** ** ********** *** actually *****, *** ********* *** ***** ** *** ***.

Comments (13)

***** *******! ** **** ** **** *** *** ** ****** time ***.

****** *******, ******.

*** ** *** **** ******** *'** **** **** ** ****.

******.

********* ******* - **** *** ****** *********** ** *** *********** it ****** **** * **** *********** *****

** ** *********** **** ****** *** ** *** *********** ***** he ********* **** ******** ****** *** ******** ***. **** ** the *** / ********* ******* ******* *** ** *********** ** addition ** *** *** *** *** ******. **** ***** **** itself **** **** ** ***** ** ****** ***.

*** *** ******* *'** **** ** *** **** ** ******* on *** ***** (***** ***** / ***** ***.) ***** ** employee ***** *** *** *** *** * ********* **** *** the **** *** ***** **** ** ** ********** *** **** opens *** **** *** ****** *** ***********

*** ******* *** ** *** ** ** ********. **** ***********, Drug ******, *** **** **** ****** ********* ******* *** *****. Originally ***** ******* **** ******** ********* ** ********* ******** ** impulse ***********, *** ********* ******* ************* ***** ******* **** ** snatch *** ***.

*** ** *** ***** ******* ** *** ******** **** **** their ***** *** ***** ***** ** ***** **** ** *** and ******* *********. ***** **** ****** **** ****** ** ***** customers *****

* **** ***** **** **** ** *** ** *** **** IPVM ********.

**** *** , ********** *** *******

****, **** ** * ***** *******. * ****** ****** ** for * ***** **** ****** * ******* ******* ** ****, and **** **** ** ** ********** ****** ****. * ****** a *** ****** *****, *** *** * ***** * *** the **** ** ** *** ***** ** * ****'* **** the ******* ** ******* ******* ** *** ***** ************* **** me.

**** **** *** *** ****** ****'* **** ** *** ***** system, ** ******* *** *** ***** ** * ********** *********** was **** *********. *** **** ***** **** ** ******* ** were ***** ****-***** **** ** *** ****.

**** **** *******. ****** **** * ****** ************ ********** *** now ******* ** ***** ***** ***** *** ****** ** ********* a ***** *** * ******** ******** ********** ** *********** *** differences ** ******** **** ****.

***** *******! ***** ***, ****!

********* ***********. ** ***** ** **** ************ ** *** **** kind ** *********** *** ***** ********* ***** ***** ************ ** being ****: *********, ***********/****** *********, **** **** **********, ******, ***.

*'* ******* *** *** ** **** ****** ****** ***** *** gift **** *****...

*** ******** (***) ***** ******* **** **** ****** *** * time ** *** *** ***** ***** ******** ****** **** ************ to *** **** *** ***! :-)

**** *******, *** ******** *** **** ** ** ***** ***. Slip & **** ****** *** *** ******* ****** *** ***** deployment ** *** *** ****** *** ** ********* * *********** ROI *** *** ********.

******* ****** **** *'** **** **** ** ****** **** ** combat (**** ** *** ** **** **** ** "**** *******"), involves *-* *********** ********** ****** *** *****. * ******* *** with **** ****** *** ***** *-* (************ ****) ****** **, usually * ****** *****, *** **** **** *** *** ****** or **** *******. **** *** **** ** ** ******* *** then ******* ************. ******* * ** * **** **** ** the ******** ****; ********* ** *** ‘**********’ *****, *** **** as ***** *** *** ******** ********. *** **** ** *** crew ***** *** *** ****, ********** ***** **** *****. ** any *** **********, **** ****** ***** *** ******* *** ****, or *** ** **** ** *** ** * ******* *** head *** *** ********. ****** *** **** * ******* ** team, ** ***** * ** * *** ****** ** *** the ****.

**** ****** **** * “*****” ***** ***** **** *** ******* based ** *** **********; ***** ** **** ** *** ************ I ***** ****** **** ** *** ** *** ***** ******** retailers. ** **********, **** ******** ******, *** **** **** ******* stores **** **** **** **-**; *** ****** ****** ***** **** up ** *** *******. ******* ** ********** ** *** **** any ***** ***** *********, *** *** ******* ** * “*****” store **** ******** ** ** *******.

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