The Science of Shoplifting and How Crime Prevention Begins Before Customers Enter a Retail Store
The webinar was presented by Mike Giblin, a Research Scientist III at the Loss Prevention Research Council, and Tom Meehan, Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Information Security Officer for ControlTEK and former director of technology and investigations with Bloomingdale's.
The Loss Prevention Research Team at the University of Florida works with more than
75 technologies in their Innovation Lab in Gainesville, Florida, as well as in more than 20 stores in that city to refine ways to deter crime attempts in a variety of environments.
Giblin and his team also work with 11 working groups to tackle in-store, parking lot, supply chain and online crime and loss problems.
With the blessing of both the penetration tester “criminals” and the store staff, the researchers watch thieves as they decide what, how and if to steal, though the shoplifters stop short of actually leaving with the goods.
Giblin and his team also study crime prevention begins before customers even enter the store: they evaluate security cameras that can report the license plate of a car parked in front of a store that might be poised for a getaway, as well as facial recognition technology so sophisticated that it can detect the age, gender, even mood of a would-be criminal. Another camera can recognize known offenders and alert staff to their presence.
They look at theft with three basic approaches: “See – Get – Fear”. Criminals have to first see the deterrent, understand what it does, and fear that it will work well enough to land them in jail. They get real-world insight from active offenders, who tell them not only into what they see, get and fear, but why they steal particular items.
Tom Meehan discussed a case study where he and his colleagues used sound in a Gainesville CVS store to study the perception of risk of a burglary or other theft in the store.