JCK 5: When to Be Suspicious of Shoppers



1. A shopper or employee lingering near a high-value-item showcase might be contemplating a theft. Shoppers with bulky bags or coats (especially if the coat is inappropriate for the weather) who lean on cases could be concealing a hard object in preparation for a smash-and-grab.

2. Shoppers who ask to see multiple items could be plotting a snatch-and-grab. “I’d like to compare the two side by side” is a common request—and one you should usually deny. And don’t ever let anyone take a piece outside “to look at it in natural light.” That could be the last you see of it.

3. An empty retail space above, below, or adjacent to you is a risk. Thieves can enter via neighboring walls. Lock up all items, not just high-end ones, when you close.

4. JSA alerted retailers about a scam in which a caller poses as an alarm company employee and asks for the store password. You would never give your Social Security number to a stranger, so don’t provide any access info to unsolicited callers.

5. Request ID from delivery personnel, such as FedEx and UPS drivers, as well as from visiting salespeople or vendors. The vast majority are legitimate, but thieves have donned such disguises.