Lifting myths and other false information

Submitted by i_buy_shit in Illegalism (edited )

Thought I would start a thread about things that people pass around as good advice but in reality is totally bullshit.

I will keep adding comments as I search the board.

Maybe we should make a document about evidence based techniques.

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i_buy_shit OP wrote (edited )

This is my opinion but I do believe it is factual

  1. No chain of stores are easy, medium or hard. Each store within a chain in any given area has a degree of difficulty and that degree of difficulty can change on a whim. The store can change leadership, LP can change, the dynamics in the store could change. eg. A store could do weekly inventory and they discover a product has been wiped out by lifters. A Store could suffer a robbery and LP practices immediately change.

My example for this is Best Buy. In my state just about every Best Buy is easy to me. Now, I do know which stores have upgraded cameras and better recording systems. You hit a Best Buy on the West coast and it is hard as shit. You have a store in Southern Cali and it is even more difficult. Here is the kicker that most people would never even think about. You have a larger migrant or homeless population and the shrink for that area goes through the roof. In addition some locations have better security not because of shrink but because the homeless population causes a real security issue.

The Best Buys one state over has a higher per capita income, less shrink, and overall much lower property crime stats than my local area. I am hesitant to ever hit a store in that county because the police have an excellent relationship with the retail community. The local PD in that state will always post pictures of lifters on their Facebook. The police carry out frequent undercover stings. And the store LP are never afraid to call the cops even if they do not have the five steps and you have not exited all points of sale.

I have a Best Buy that I tag once a year. I had all my ducks in a row and ready to pull my heist when I hear an employee talking to a regular customer. Two night before someone had broken into the store and stolen over 40k worth of iPad and Macs. If I had not heard this conversation I would have been fucked with a capital D. I had done all of my homework, or at least I thought I had, and this one little detail changed everything. They had three LPs on staff that day and corporate security was in the store for that week.

All of this to say that you have to do your homework for every store. Never fucking get complacent or cocky.

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Liftingaddict wrote

I agree 1,000% with this. I think a lot of newbies rely too heavily on the master list. I was in retail management for nearly 20 years, and there are so many variables from store-to-store within the same chain that you can’t classify an entire company as being easy, medium, or hard difficulty.

Company LP policies frequently change based off shrink patterns. A company I worked for for many years had a strict “no police” policy unless there was a threat of violence. After years of increasing shrink, they changed it to allowing police to be called anytime there was a walkout or clear theft visible on camera. Then some idiot manager called the police on someone whom he merely suspected of lifting but wasn’t. The person filed suit and the company changed it back. Another example: in the same town, there was another location less than 2 miles from my store that had ZERO cameras whatsoever, whereas my store had about 12. A prior store I worked at had nearly 30 cameras. All within the same chain. Some stores had no LP, some had internal LP, some outsourced to security firms such as Securitas, and other had armed, off-duty police officers. Again, all within the same chain. Stores with no LP or outsourced security firms didn’t allow chasing or detaining of shoplifters. Stores with LP or armed officers allowed chasing and detaining. Same chain, many variables. And this isn’t even getting into management and associate competency.

I would not recommend that anyone use only the master list for planning a lift. I see a lot of misinformation on it that I know is incorrect from first hand knowledge or from fellow management friends. There is much research and scoping out that needs to occur first. OP states it perfectly.

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i_buy_shit OP wrote

I really appreciate hearing from others. I have spent a lot of time over the years just observing store behavior and feels good to hear some validation.

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Goblisstick wrote

Were you a lifter before you started your retail management career? Did working in that field teach you a lot about it? Did you lift more or less after you were no longer in that field?

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Liftingaddict wrote (edited )

No, I started lifting once I saw the exploitation. The turning point was when I had to tell our top-performing associate that she was receiving a $0.25 raise two days after I found out that one of the company’s top-selling items were made in China for $0.03 each and being sold in our stores for $38.

Definitely learned a lot during my retail career. The biggest piece of advice I can give is to never assume that you’re smarter and can outwit or outmaneuver everyone else. Everyone gets detected or caught at some point.

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i_buy_shit OP wrote

  1. There is no such thing as a pro lifter unless you have inside information about the point of sale system, knowledge about which items are high shrink for that given store, LP schedule and policies, and access to the recorded camera feed.

Everything you do is based on a number of best practices. Looking the part, having a plan, scoped the area out, know response time. But no matter what you are really never that good. You are usually 50% skill and 50% luck. Good LP know how to look at body language: something as simple as using two hands to grab a product that is not heavy is a dead giveaway... and there are numerous other subconscious behaviors that guilty people do. You almost never know which items are high shrink. Good LP are going to watch the product all the way from selection to checkout. What will really fuck your day are products that have RF tags and the cameras are auto programmed to follow the product.

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Dee82 wrote

Rfid tags that the cameras atuomaticly follow?

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Brockhampton9830 wrote

Contrary to popular belief, some ink tags do set off the alarms. Look for oval shaped "Alarming Ink" tags. The warning isn't for deterrence, its true.

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oscar wrote (edited )

Don't rely on the "no chase" policy. Like, when people pull the whole "Oh, even if the towers go off, it's not a big deal, no one will come after you" thing, when they often have no way of knowing whether this is true for the store in question. I've heard people assume it's just a general policy for medium-to-large businesses, but the reality is that you just don't know.

I've worked at big retail outlets where it was explicitly expected that if someone steals shit, you follow their ass down the street until you get it back. And I've also worked at smaller businesses where the "what to do if you see someone shoplifting" thing is never even brought up during training, which IMO leaves the door open for some employee to try to be a hero. I think I've only ever worked at one place (and I've had too much retail experience) where the no chase policy was clearly communicated.

And I know that an employee saying, "Hey, do you mind coming back to the counter so we can check your bag?" is not a huge deal (i.e., just ignore them), but you never know when some fool is gonna grab you or pull some weird shit. I'm not saying it should deter people, but they should be prepared for the possibility, is all.

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Dee82 wrote

Just because you bought something doesn't mean your in the clear but it does help in many situations.

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