Evidence 101

EVIDENCE 101...Wherever you go, there you are...

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Stealing Nature

One of the most frustrating donkey kicks you get from working in law enforcement is the impact of all the hard work you do solving a case involving a retailer AND the effort and result meaning nothing to the victim nor does it make a positive change in future risk management or stop loss policies and procedures.

Sure, you are already saying cops don't need gratification, otherwise they are in the wrong profession. This statement if taken wholly in context is true. And additionally, you are saying, if cops want to be appreciated, they should have been firefighters. My opinion is-"Yes" to the first, "whatever" to the second.  These statements are not what I am referring to here. Let me paint a more clear picture and get us out of the mud.

A crime often overlooked is larceny (stealing)-all classes-petit larceny such as small ticket items to grand larceny-bigger thefts. Common names are shop lifting, embezzlement, etc.

A shock to my system occurred when I was a rookie detective. My first big case which turned into many cases opened my eyes to consumer injustice. I had solved several criminal cases which were committed by a RICO (Redneck Influenced Corrupt Organization) not to be confused with the federal flash and bling- catchy- name tag- thingy.

Two suspects died in a crash. The rest were involved in counterfeit checks, burglary, drugs, credit card fraud, ID theft, and more. The biggest loser (financially) was Wal-Mart with over a $600,000 total loss spanning 3 states. When it was all said and done, I curiously asked the loss prevention dude from Wal-Mart about proposing different regulations and procedures in the store to prevent such catastrophes. He agreed. However, management informed him it was not their decision and corporate decided to leave things as is. After all, they wrote off hundreds of thousands in just the Casper stores annually, so it was something already accounted for, but not usually done by a handful of suspects. So...I was kind of put off by their response.

Over time, when Home Depot came in to town, their first rule of thumb was to leave anyone alone who was exiting the store with less than $500 of goods not paid for and a theft in progress. They were told to get camera footage and call the police. That meant sprees of carts and flatbed trolleys running out the door with big appliances, tools, and patio furniture. I mean seriously. We had a chat with them and they changed the policy...a little. So...what does this mean?

This means as a consumer, YOU and ME are paying for all this, ultimately, and I'm a little disappointed I didn't get a free toaster oven or flat screen for all that.


Coffeypot said...

Seeing someone run out the door with a big screen tv on a cart unpaid for... a Mossberg in his ass would at least get the tv back.

Old NFO said...

Simple really... WE are honest...

Bob G. said...

Momma Fargo:
I like Coffeypot's "12 gauge"
solution. Grab it from store stock, too...lol.

How RIGHT you are, dear.
I used to work L/P for the late great (?) Circuit City, and I seen my share of "stuff" as well.
That gig YOU encountered at "wally-world" rings too familiar (with THEM).
Doesn't matter WHAT the store L/P folks WANT to do...W-M has their OWN operating system, and it TRUMPS whatever good YOU or the store personnel would LIKE to do to ease "shrink"...and that $500K is a HELLUVA lotta shrink!!!

Most places allow less than 5% in their budgets for such larcenies.
Sounds like that tri-state gang might have been doing the old "take it back for cash when it's been stolen" thingy...on alarge scale.

That was a popular one back on the east coast.

Good story...and unfortunately all too true.
We ALL pay for "their" dumbassery!

Roll safe and mind the thaw down there.
And have a great weekend.

Mad Jack said...

The thought is that if shrinkage is minimized, we, the great unwashed, will enjoy lower prices at Big Box because shrinkage or, more properly, theft, is the main reason prices are as high as they are. This is a nice theory, but it just isn't true.

Big Box stores evaluate shrinkage the same way Micro$soft evaluates a million dollar a day penalty for unfair trade; it's a business expense. The cost of cutting the expense has to be cost justified, and it has nothing to do with morality and theft.

Slamdunk said...

Yes as a shoplifter it pays to know the difference between box store and "locally owned small business." The owner's response by the latter will likely be much more sudden and painful.

Enjoy your weekend MF.

Momma Fargo said...

Mad Jack...we will have to agree to disagree. I know as a business owner you jave to make up losses caused by shoplifters by putting in the price. surely not.going to claim shoplifting on insurance and a retailer is not going toneat it amd make money.

Momma Fargo said...

And I need to type with both hands and not one finger. lol

Mad Jack said...

Momma Fargo, which finger are you using?

While a retailer does factor in shrinkage, this is an estimate only, and while actual values will cause in increase in price, the amount of shrinkage will never cause a decrease in price.

Say you have a what-not store. Your first year you estimate 5% in shrinkage, and you're pretty much on target. The second year 5% works out pretty well, but the third year is an election year and as a result, six months into the new year there is a flurry of real estate sales in your neighborhood as the local homeless population become first time home buyers. That third year shrinkage goes up to a staggering 30% and you almost go bankrupt.

So on year four two things happen: One, you factor in 35% shrinkage which makes you significantly more expensive than Wally World, but so what? Two, you go down to the dog pound and rescue a large, impossible dog that the cage cleaners have somewhat humorously named Ripper. He comes complete with studded leather dog harness, license and a sharpening stone for his teeth. Note that his name is spelt RIP-per. A bit odd, that, but he seems friendly so long as he's fed on time. You take him to work with you and discover that the dog likes elderly white people, is unbelievably fast on his feet when running down a fleeing shoplifter, and has managed to make a mess in the alley behind the shop when he gets into it with a local graffiti artist.

Your shrinkage drops to 1.02%, but more people come to your store because it tends to be a crime free hole in the doughnut. They pay your higher prices which you raised due to shrinkage which no longer exists. So now that profits are up, what do you do?

I'm thinking you give RIP-per a bonus instead of cutting prices.

And that's why.


Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Dang, there's so much free shopping I could've done for $499.99!

Be well, MF.

Anonymous said...

I was very aggressive on theft internal and external when I was a retail manager. Internal usually overrode the external.