Four Ways That Criminals Strike in Retail

Business / Event security / Food for thought / Protection

16 July 2019

Retail settings are one of the most targetted areas for thieves to operate – due to their busy nature it can be very easy for criminals to steal and not get caught. However, with staff training and awareness, you can make your retail store a whole lot safer and deter opportunists from striking. After all, if your store is known for being vulnerable, your efforts could be going to waste and all your stock could be taken.

For some practical tips about how you can make your store less vulnerable, this blog will explain four ways that criminals strike and how you can combat break-ins.

Fitting rooms

The changing rooms are one area of the shop that is often a hotbed for theft. For one, when shop assistants are not monitoring this area, counting items and checking on customers, opportunists will use this time to sneak in extra items and hide them in their bags. However, whenever possible the fitting rooms should be properly managed – train your staff to hand out numbered tags so they know exactly what each customer is taking in, check the pockets of these items for jewellery and small accessories.

When it’s busy and not possible for staff to be working on the fitting room, make sure that someone checks in periodically and removes and clothes from the fitting room that could otherwise be taken.

Faulty items

Sometimes, thieves will steal an item from your store and attempt to return it to gain the monetary value. Signs of this include no receipt, the returning of a particularly expensive item and damage to this item – ripped seams, loose threads and other damage is sometimes purposely done to the item as a way of making it look faulty. However, be aware that not all of these incidents are a result of theft, you should use your own judgement and keep in mind that you could be dealing with a genuine customer. But, always make sure that your items are tagged as this will make them a lot harder to steal.


It’s important that your whole sales team has a ‘heads up’ approach while working – this means that as important as it is to get on with daily tasks, they should also be aware of the customers around them and when they appear more alert thieves will be less likely to strike. Furthermore, this also means that if one shop assistant is being distracted by a thief and cannot see another opportunist taking items, other staff will be able to identify this and alert security or a store manager.


Big sales and promotions offer the perfect time for thieves to strike. During this period the store is often a lot messier and busier than usual, meaning thieves can hide amongst people and commit their crimes unseen. Make sure you pick up items off the floor and, again, be helpful and alert to those around you.

If you’re in need of affordable security solutions, Leisure Guard Security, based in North West England, specialises in in-store supervisors that provide a physical and visual deterrent for thieves. For more information, get in touch today and find out how we can help.

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