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How to Prevent In-Store Theft


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June 01, 2022

Smash-and-grab robberies have been making headlines in recent months. It’s no surprise that criminal activity quite literally follows the money. This has long been an issue for cash-intensive businesses like ATM operators, convenience and retail stores, and more recently, legal cannabis operators.

From internal employee theft to outside threats like robberies, it’s time to ask yourself, “Is my business safe?”


Facility security should always be top of mind for any business owner operating in an industry handling large volumes of cash. While it may seem like an overwhelming task, there are steps you can take to prevent in-store theft, ensuring your assets and employees are safe. 


Surveillance cameras are an ideal way to monitor and prevent in-store theft. However, the placement of these camera systems is key. The entire facility should be within view at all times, but at a minimum, business owners should place cameras in the following areas:

  • All building access points (entrances/exits)
  • ATMs
  • Point-of-sale systems
  • Company safes
  • Asset storage areas

To take full advantage of surveillance systems, recording devices should be in place to store footage in the event historical data needs to be accessed – this includes compliance purposes as well as in the event of suspected theft or damage to business property. In addition, quality systems offer web-based portals for remote access, allowing business owners and managers to have 24/7 remote visibility. 


Utilizing the right cash-handling equipment in your operation can also help deter unwanted theft. When businesses incorporate Smart Safes, cash recyclers and ATMs equipped with advanced safety features, they are not only making a break-in more challenging but they are also limiting how much “cash on hand” employees have access to. These devices also have built-in monitoring tools, which provides complete transparency into the cash-handling process and protects your business from both internal and external theft.


Alarm systems can assist in catching criminals, but more importantly, they can deter further action during an attempted break in. After hours, placing alarms on building access points can alert law enforcement as well as provide a powerful deterrent when triggering sound and/or lighting at the facility. This draws unwanted attention and makes the target less desirable. 


In addition to having security lights inside your store or facility, business owners should also carefully plan the exterior lighting of a building. Well-lit entrances and back alleyways discourage intruders, but also make visuals more clear on security monitoring devices. Lighting should be bright and cover as much real estate as possible, including both inside and outside the store, and surrounding parking lots if possible. 


Physical security can be the ultimate tool to prevent in-store theft. When hiring a security partner, it is crucial to look for those who understand how to build custom service models specific to your needs and have existing relationships with local law enforcement. 


Criminals look for opportunities with the least amount of risk. Businesses who incorporate surveillance cameras, “smart” equipment, alarm systems, proper lighting and security staffing into their facility security are less likely to fall victim to theft. OSS offers a holistic approach that analyzes every aspect of your business, including equipment, personnel and property, to build a custom facility security plan for your needs.