Tips to Prevent Shoplifting

This information is provided for educational purposes only. The Town of Fairfield and the Fairfield Police Department expressly disclaim any and all liability resulting from the material and any recommendations provided and do not represent that these recommendations will prevent a crime or in the event of such crime limit damage to any person or property.

Loss experts agree that a crucial way to prevent shoplifting is to have well-trained and alert employees who how to spot a potential shoplifter. Employees need to watch for customers who:

  • Avoid eye contact
  • Appear nervous
  • Wander the store without buying
  • Leave the store and returns repeatedly
  • Linger in a location that employees have a hard time monitoring
  • Constantly keep an eye on store employees and other customers.

In addition to training your employees to spot shoplifters, general shoplifting-prevention techniques include:

  • Staying alert at all times.
  • Greeting all customers.
  • Asking lingering customers if they need help.
  • Knowing where shoplifting is most likely to occur in the location.
  • Using a log to share suspicions about shoplifters among employees.
  • Displaying signs that “Shoplifters will be prosecuted.”

When shoplifting is suspected, it’s crucial for your employees to know how to handle incidents. The Fairfield Police Department recommends that retail employees:

  • Never directly accuse anyone of stealing (call police/security instead).
  • Give the person a chance to pay for the item they “forgot” to pay for by asking, “Are you ready to pay for that?” or “Can I ring you up?”
  • Never try to physically stop a shoplifter. Call police.
  • Cooperate fully with center security and the prosecutor if/when the time comes.