Mall Cop Confessions: Beware the shoplifter decoy item trick

For entertainment purposes only

Shoplifters are clever. They’ve got a whole range of tricks to keep you guessing, and to keep our clients reeling from the inventory they’re constantly taking.

Let’s talk about the decoy item trick.

This thieving tactic is when a shoplifter walks into a store and begins grabbing items. They may put some back and take different ones. They’ll wait until the employees aren’t watching and then take an expensive product.

Then they will go to the register and pay for one or two cheap items. They’ll slip out of the store and throw the expensive item in with the rest.

They’ll expect store employees to be none the wiser because after all, they did pay for something. If they were stealing something, why would they risk doing that?

This is a hard one to detect but not impossible. Store employees will have to keep any eye out for it.

I know what you’re saying “What does this have to do with me?”. That’s a fair question.

Well, you can educate your clients on this tactic and encourage them to be vigilant. If they’ve got people in their spaces near expensive products and acting suspiciously then they need to remain alert.

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What you can do is maintain a strong presence. Let yourself be seen. You may not be able to deter in the moment, but if shoplifters see you constantly aware of everything that’s taking place, they’ll think twice before taking the risk.

The decoy item trick is clever. But we’re on to it and so are many retailers. Stay alert, keep patrolling, and don’t give this technique any room to breathe.

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