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Loss Prevention Information - Flash Robs

While we have discussed previously that organized retail crime is a definite problem for retailers, it is not the only form of theft that is done by a team. Thanks to social networks such as Facebook or Twitter and the spread of smartphones, a new social theft scheme is taking place. Similar to flash mobs that have bene the highlight in the news, flash robs occur when people are grouped en masse at one location. The primary difference is that flash robs occur when the group of people coordinate to overwhelm a retail store with their large numbers. Most stores are unable to handle the sudden mass influx of people, their staff gets over crowded, and the group steals items in bulk. Polls conducted by the National Retail Foundation show that over ten percent of multiple-offfender thefts have used these "flash rob" tactics.

The advent of flash robbing didn't occur with social media. In the past, large gangs or other social groups have come together to steal by overrunning a store. What has changed is how the damage is done and how flash robs are organized. Groups used to be primarily organized with the intent of hitting the top-dollar items on store shelves, such as jewelery or electronics. Modern flash robs have acted like locusts, simply grabbing everything in sight. This is also due to their means of organization. As older gangs who went for big-ticket products were stealing as a method of income, the groups which are organized through social media are typically younger, and are stealing for the physiological high. While these modern flash robs may not be going for large per-item thefts, they make up for it in the quantity of smaller items.

While the real world chances of being hit by a flash rob are statistically low when compared to the number of retail stores, it doesn't mean that they do not happen, nor that West Coast Loss Prevention doesn't train or prepare its agents for these situations. In Orange County California alone there have been reports of flash robs in cities such as Aliso Viejo, Laguna Hills, Brea, Los Alamitos, Cypress, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Westminster, Irvine, Seal Beach, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Anaheim, Orange, Santa Ana, Fountain Valley, Tustin, Costa Mesa, Villa Park, and Yorba Linda. Outsourcing your loss prevention team to a company that has specifically trained its agents is one of the most effective ways of combatting flash robs.

Many stores who have no loss prevention system or who have their own internal loss prevention team fall victim to flash robs. They make common mistakes such as simply trying to protect high-ticket items, not having effective security camera coverage, or having employees not briefed on flash mob procedures. Stores who have been impacted by flash robs often taken panicked measures afterwards, such as writing new guidelines of locking the doors when too many customers enter, or worse planning an armed or physical response. These plans only lead to violent confrontations and potentially massive civil liability. An outsourced loss prevention team, such as what West Coast Loss Prevention can offer, ensures that your employees are prepared for flash robs, without the risk of violence, and will keep a watchful eye over your business.

For more information on flash robs and our methods to combat them, Contact us today — Don't Become a Statistic.

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Shoplifting is a serious problem, and it's getting worse. 2011 saw an extreme increase in shoplifting, as more criminals and customers have taken to theft. Some businesses have been hit so hard that they are forced to close their doors. Retail theft is predicted to only to get worse in the coming years, and now is the time to act. Training and implementing your own shoplift program costs money and resources that your business needs. Studies have shown that out-sourcing your shoplift program can save you over 20% on costs. West Coast Loss Prevention by Tier 1 Solutions offers you not just a return on your investment, but decades of experience in loss prevention. Let us manage your program: We do it all for you!

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