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I’m an SPS (Store Protection Specialist) at Ross. Ask me anything you want to know about LP

Submitted by LP420 in Shoplifting (edited )

I catch thieves almost every day, if anyone wants to ask me anything regarding protocol or anything at all feel free. I only do this to enrich my own knowledge regarding the minds of thieves and LP, and this could be interesting to answer some questions.

-Do not ask me which specific store I work in-

Comments

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3

SuperDave wrote

Do stores use hidden cameras to catch shoplifters?

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LP420 wrote

Nope, even the visible cameras aren’t constantly inspected for theft unless it was a large one or some other serious reason. Another thing, the Supertag ink hardtags don’t even contain ink (they used to) people know this and simply pop them off

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SuperDave wrote (edited )

little advice too. watch for staged items. thats about the most sophisticated and safest technique. put the item back if you see that. and ban the lifter from the store if your boss will let you. people who steal from a place like ross are scum, and you need to get them out of your store. Maybe even in jail depending on how much they have stolen.

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iamhamming wrote

What makes people that lift from ross scum other than the fact that it's a cheap store?

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LP420 wrote

And I agree with you that people that lift from Ross are scum. Ross literally sells nothing worth stealing

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SuperDave wrote

And they donate some profits to charity from what i understand. lifting there is fucking low.

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LP420 wrote

Staged items you mean items that were stashed purposely for later? We constantly find misplaced items but most of the time it’s passed as a usual occurrence with people who change their mind about merchandise and just put it in different places

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SuperDave wrote (edited )

Staged items will be hidden in what the lifter thinks is a blind spot to cameras, or a low traffic area. They'll hide things either behind other items or under shelves in most cases.

If something doesn't look hidden its probably just an honest customer.

Tho most lifters are stupid and will load up right infront of the camera. They wont use this method.

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SuperDave wrote (edited )

If you think you have a smart lifter who will dodge your cameras, my recommendation is to follow them on foot very carefully, unless you have no blind spots. Theyll use sleight of hand tricks to make you think they have dumped the item sometimes. But i haven't heard of that on this forum.

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LP420 wrote (edited )

Some people would simply stand really close to an item and open the package and then hide it behind the rest, and it may also be hard to catch on camera depending on the angle and positioning. Then walk out without triggering AES and before we find the open package they are long gone. Only way we can combat this is to trace and follow people who seem to be in certain spots for long times. Another reg flag for us is when someone is using both hands to “examine” a product. Honest shoppers usually use one hand to pick and inspect the item in the open. Standing over an item and having both hands on it automatically tells me this person is opening packages or tempering with tags

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SuperDave wrote

Shoplifters use lots of methods. I showed you the one I use, the one your describing sounds like sleight of hand.

You should ask questions in r/lossprevention in reddit. Those guys will be happy to help you and you'll get a lot of answers in a short period of time compared to here. You work in a charity shop basically, and you need to protect it.

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throwaway12345 wrote

Do the EAS scan vertically?

I was wondering if I was able to just take an item with a spider wrap on it or RFID tag and just hold it up above the towers while walking out with it and make no noise.

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LP420 wrote (edited )

The EAS towers have a certain threshold area, generally speaking if you lift the item high enough above you might be able to bypass them although specifically at our store and others there is a bar above the towers preventing people from taking carts out of the store(the carts have poles) which would also render this method useless. Also since there is always LP posted at the door you would be looking ridiculous holding your hands up high. I wouldn't try this method tbh. Probably best get rid off the spider wrap

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TheLegendaryBirdMonster wrote

Do you have any tips to stop being scared of lifting?

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LP420 wrote

Literally dont look suspicious. Blend yourself in as a regular honest customer, reply enthusiasticly to greetings, and don't overreact. Sometimes when we suspect someone and follow them they get frustrated and leave the store which makes it obvious the person intended to steal and couldn't find blind spots. Personally I would say the lifters that almost never get caught are those who actually pass the POS buying something and leaving with other merch with defeated tags.

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Tattooseverywhere211 wrote

What is Ross's chase policy? And if you have been suspected of shoplifting at a store before. Will they call the cops if I go back in like a month's the actually buy somthing?

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LP420 wrote

We won't chase you once you're outside the store, although we could communicate to other security in the area that could stop you. If a case was made on you (which only happens for major thefts) then they would call police on you for trespassing if they spot you. Generally speaking I never seen the same lifter twice in our store after they got caught but I bet many come back eventually

1

ziq wrote

Do you get rewarded for catching lifters? Do you have a quota to meet?

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LP420 wrote

We don't get rewarded per se and nor do we have a quota, though we have shift logs that we have to fill in at the beginning of, during, and end of shift of occurrences and LP objectives we accomplished. Corporate comes in about twice a month and it looks good to have filled up paperwork. Generally speaking, I have let many suspected shoplifters simply go. The ones I really go for are the greedy ones that think they have a right to load up with hundreds $$ of merchandise and waltz out of the store like they own the place.

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ziq wrote

How many people that you've caught have been prosecuted? Are there people in prison because of you?

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LP420 wrote

Personally from my work, none. I did get a few people ejected and banned from the premises, but to my knowledge nobody was prosecuted. If someone was caught stealing large amounts they would be prosecuted though. For Ross it's basically anything over $50

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LP420 wrote

Bear in mind most lifters at Ross go for rather cheap items, and those who go for big hauls don't always get caught. It's quite rare for the company to actively pursue prosecution on a lifter unless it was grand theft

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ziq wrote

what does someone need to do/say for you to let them go?

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LP420 wrote

We don’t generally altercate with suspected shoplifters, we will greet them and attempt to stall them if we know for sure they are shoplifting. We would then communicate with each other over talkie and have the MOD call armed security that work on the plaza. We don’t get paid enough to get physical and risk ourselves especially considering most of the merchandise at Ross is very cheap and not worth risking recovery

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LP420 wrote

Other than that, unless we know for sure that you are shoplifting by visually catching you or having strong suspicions about you there is no reason you would get stopped. Most people we call out are those who act visibly suscpiciously. For example, if an LP greets you and you ignore or don’t respond, they will automatically suspect you since it’s a known fact a lifter doesn’t like attention, especially of LP