Last Updated on October 25, 2023
Are you wondering why you are losing so much money on unpaid goods stolen from your store by shoplifters? Good news: we will expose how shoplifters successfully shoplift items with security tags. We spoke to a former professional shoplifter, who gave us a breakdown of his process and tips to help store owners stay on alert.
According to John Roof, most shoplifters in major malls are young women who will be less susceptible to crime. They come in with a pair of strong magnets, place a Faraday cage near the tag and turn off the security tags and their ability to buzz the tag detector.
This blog post on how to shoplift items with security tags covers all key points, including understanding tag systems, identifying vulnerabilities, how the operation is planned, the execution, dealing with security measures, and how they clean up the stolen goods.
For store owners, you will find a helpful guide on how to prevent this to the minimum.
Understanding Security Tags and Loss Prevention
Security tags are crucial to loss prevention strategies retailers use to deter shoplifting and reduce losses. These tags consist of a signal transmitter inside and a hard outer shell. When attached to products, they can trigger an alarm if customers attempt to leave the store without removing or deactivating the tag.
4 Common Methods to Shoplift Items with Security Tags
In the world of loss prevention, retailers are constantly looking for ways to protect their merchandise from shoplifting. On the other hand, some individuals are always seeking new methods to bypass security tags and walk away with stolen goods. While I do not condone or encourage shoplifting, it is essential to understand the various techniques that have been explored.
The use of a Faraday cage.
One method that a security researcher has discovered is using a Faraday cage. A Faraday cage is a shielded enclosure that blocks electromagnetic fields.
By placing an item with a security tag inside a Faraday cage, the signal transmission between the title and the store’s alarm system can be disrupted, effectively turning off the label.
Aluminum foil, rubber bands, and plastic bags.
Another approach experimented with involves everyday items such as aluminum foil, rubber bands, and plastic bags. Aluminum foil, for example, can block the signals emitted by security tags, rendering them ineffective.
The Use of Non-lubricated Condoms.
Surprisingly, non-lubricated condoms have also been explored as a potential tool to bypass security tags. The elasticity and thinness of the condom allow it to be stretched over a security tag, concealing it from detection.
I am using stickers and knives to remove or destroy security tags.
Lastly, individuals have attempted to remove or destroy security tags using stickers and knives. By covering the security tag with a sticker, they hope to hide it from view. Alternatively, some have used knives to cut or pry off the labels.
How Shoplifters Operate
Aside from basic security measures installed within your space to combat shoplifters, it is essential to understand how shoplifters operate. This will give you an edge in being on the offensive in combating crime instead of preventing it.
For shoplifters to shoplift items with security using some of the methods mentioned above, they start with the following.
The Shoplifter Personality
Don’t expect to see some hardened-looking guy coming to shoplift from your store. In choosing who to shoplift, the group looks for someone who isn’t likely to be monitored. In many cases, females are employed for such purposes.
Ideally, a potential shoplifting suspect is usually a guy, meaning females can easily have a field day shoplifting without being a suspect.
Type of Product Stolen
Many shoplifters prefer products that are easy to conceal and high in value. Expensive items like jewelry or electronics are perfect candidates. They check for additional security measures like CCTV cameras or store personnel monitoring the area.
Using the Tools
Once the shoplifter has taken what they want, they move into a secluded place to detach the tags. Familiar places where this happens are usually the restroom or the fitting room.
Once the tags are destroyed, it becomes easy for the shoplifter to make way with the product stolen.
Myths and Truths about Security Tag Bypassing
Have you ever wondered if magnets could bypass security tags? It turns out that this is not just a myth. Interests can indeed set off store alarms, causing quite a commotion. Retailers use electronic article surveillance (EAS) systems with security tags and labels to prevent theft.
These security tags include a signal transmitter inside and a hard outer shell. When a tagged product passes through the electronic antennas placed on both sides of store exits, the system detects the signal and triggers an alarm. Magnets can interfere with this signal, leading to false alarms.
Will aluminum foil block security tags?
Another popular belief is that aluminum foil can block security tags effectively. This claim also holds some truth. Aluminum foil can create a Faraday cage, which blocks electromagnetic fields. By wrapping the tagged item in aluminum foil, the electromagnetic signal from the security tag is disrupted, preventing the store alarm from being triggered.
However, it’s important to note that this method may not work against all types of security tags, as some are designed to resist interference.
What Happens if I Remove a Security Tag from Merchandise?
If you are successful and lucky, the product belongs to you. If caught, you will be charged from a simple misdemeanour to a class “C” felony. However, this depends on the value of what you tried to steal.
Will a strong magnet deactivate a security tag?
When trying to shoplift items with security tags and using magnets, be aware that a strong magnet does not easily deactivate many modern tags. Unfortunately, there is no clear way to determine newer technological titles from ancient ones. However, a strong interest can deactivate some security tags by magnetizing the strip along the length of the tag by applying a solid magnet field.
Limitations of Tag Removal Methods
It’s crucial to understand the limitations of tag removal methods. While some individuals may experiment with stickers and knives to remove or destroy security tags, these methods can damage the product or raise suspicion from store staff. Additionally, bypassing security tags is illegal and can lead to severe consequences.
Commonly Asked Questions
What do security tags consist of?
Security tags consist of a signal transmitter inside and a hard outer shell.
What components make up anti-theft store alarms?
Anti-theft store alarms consist of electronic antennas, electronic tags, and detachers or deactivators.
How do store alarms work?
Store alarms are placed on both sides of the store exits and sound an alarm or alert staff when active tags pass by.
How do store sensors work?
Store sensors detect light reflected by the lighting system and generate an analog signal sent to the decoder.
From another perspective, we have seen how to shoplift items with security tags from a former criminal’s mind. However, it is essential to note that shoplifting is illegal and unethical, and this information is provided solely for educational purposes.
Individuals can better protect themselves and their belongings from theft by understanding security measures.