The joys of being a retailer are undoubtedly bringing customers products that will serve their needs and bring them happiness – it makes plenty ofmoney after all! But if that's the joys of retailing, the sorrows of running your own store is, without a doubt, the loss of profits through theft.

Whilst stealing from shops is nothing new, through modern technology we have never been so well placed to counteract the tactics used by shoplifters to make off with valuable stock. Here, we're going to break down those tactics – and how security camera installers are well placed to help any type of store, regardless of size, to cut down on that profit loss.

The Methods Shoplifters Use To Steal – And How Security Camera Installers Can Help

  • Fitting Rooms . Let's begin with one of the most well-known; the fitting room switch. Away from the gaze of staff and security cameras, shoplifters will use the privacy to 'layer on' the clothing they wish to steal. A variation on this, is them swapping their old clothes and replacing them on therack when they've finished. Whilst cameras should not be placedinside of a changing room, they can be placed outside to watch what is being brought in – and what's being brought out. You may have also seen the larger clothing stores place staff by the entrance to the fitting area, taking note of what goes in and out – CCTV outside will give them the extra help needed to be certain.

  • Prams and buggies . Another popular shoplifting method is the usage of prams or buggies to conceal items. 'Busy parents' will often pack their baby's stroller with blankets and toys (and often, the baby!) and use these devices to hide items under. Security camera installers can implement an intelligent system that can follow such people , ensuring they do not slip any items inside of the pram. Other 'vehicles' should also be monitored – CCTV cameras have even picked up people fraudulently-using wheelchairs to steal items in recent years.

  • Shopping bags . Whilst the rise in the usage of reusable shopping bags to cut down on plastic waste should be seen as a positive thing for society, it should also put retailers on alert for a rise in one of most time-honoured shoplifting tactics; sweeping items into a shopping bag. Taking something from a shelf or rack and placing it into a bag takes a matter of seconds – a single second if you're a 'professional' shoplifter. With the ability to zoom in at great detail, as well as have its footage slowed down, a CCTV camera is the perfect tool to use to see how shoppers interact with product displays.

  • Coats . The more experienced shoplifters will wear oversized or specially-manufactured coats with slits in the lining to reach and conceal items without being seen. Typically, they will inspect an item with their exposed hand, whilst the other hand slips through the lining and grabs another item. With their abilities to monitor in high-definition, be slowed down and able to recognise such behaviours, a security camera will be a useful tool to prevent such actions.

  • Umbrellas . Another method that the more well-trained shoplifters use to steal, is to keep a closed (or semi-closed) umbrella hanging on their elbow. This allows a space for items to be dropped into whilst they're 'browsing' through the aisles or leaning against a counter. Again, a modern system created by security camera installers can pick out such behaviours and prevent them from making good their escape with valuable stock.

  • Requesting stock . As smaller stores naturally only have one-or-two staff available to assist customers at a time, shoplifters may use this to their advantage. They may ask for a product that they 'like the look of', but for a particular variation that may not be on display, such as a certain size or colour. The staff member would normally nip into the stock room to check – giving the shoplifter an opportunity to steal. With a sophisticated camera system set-up in the stock room, staff can monitor the behaviour of the customer from there or even stay in situ and easily check what's available in the stock room first.

So those were some of the common tactics shoplifters use to steal items. If you're interested in learning more about how the latest CCTV systems can help your store to cut down on the losses it may suffer through theft, why not allow the expert security camera installers here at Maxtag to help?

Get In Touch With Our CCTV Experts To Establish Robust Retail Security

For over 20 years we have been advising on, and installing the latest in retail security devices to store and building owners alike. We are able to provide you with a whole range of modern high-definition CCTV cameras –whether you need a single camera or to establish a whole network, our security camera installers can work with you to create a bespoke solution that will take into account the different aspects of your property and what you are looking to achieve.

To learn more about how we are able to help you to create a robust security camera installation to protect your property, please feel free to get in touch with our security experts today. Give us a call on 0800 044 3160 or send an e-mail to us at

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MAXTAG (UK) Limited

8 Suttons Business Park Reading Berkshire RG6 1AZ United Kingdom

0800 044 3160