A blind-spot is a section of the store where you are barely visible by any cameras or employees and can thus feel free to both collect and dump stuff, without fear of being seen. Make sure your blind-spot is not under surveillance. Never do anything where someone else may see you, even a customer. You can make your own spot inside a shopping cart with large packages to conceal your movements or use display units to your advantage. Also a friends body can be used to block viewing. You will always want to act quickly once you have entered your blind spot and never grab an item and walk straight to your area. Shop your way into it like you need something from there and then shop your way out like you did nothing wrong. Never hang around your blind-spot for too long and don’t keep using the same spot, especially if you are leaving opened packages. Most of all, be careful to never lead Loss Prevention to your blind-spot and remember that Loss Prevention will know their store better then you and will already know where all the blind spots are.
After selecting cloths you head to the Dressing Room to try them on. While your in there you decide that instead of purchasing them, you’re going to shoplift them. This can be easily done in the privacy of this little room as long as you know what your doing. The inside of dressing rooms will normally not be monitored by Loss Prevention. If they do they have to have a sign saying that “Dressing Rooms are monitored” for it to be legal. Also most dressing rooms are not 100% private. A lot of times the door or curtain stops about 2 feet from the floor giving Loss Prevention an opportunity to observe some of your actions, especially with a small shoe mirror. Regardless of all of this, you’re going for it and there are several ways you could go about concealing your items.
First thing you do is to remove any security tags on the cloths. Removing tags is discussed in the ‘Tools of the Trade’. The most common way to obtain your new cloths would be to place them into another stores bag that you walked in with. Second would be to wear the new cloths under what your already wearing or fold them up and tape them to your body. You could also just exchange the old cloths you are wearing for new ones. Remember to never leave any tags or hangers behind. Otherwise you will be alerting the staff that you took something. Some store will now count the clothing going in and out of the dressing room. To get around this just bring in some older or cheaper cloths in another stores bag, exchange them and place all the tags / stickers on them.
This is a common technique used by women. With a dress on they will take an expensive item such as a bluray and hold it between their thighs and walk out. Also you could have a inflatable ball so that you appear pregnant. Gather cloths and go into a dressing room, deflate the ball and place the cloths in its place, so that you still appear pregnant. Men could taking some small expensive items and place them in the small of your back. Wearing a tight shirt tucked in with a baggier outer shirt would help conceal any item. Cloths can be wrapped and taped around your torso and your legs while wearing bagger cloths. Remember you have to be able to walk out the door without arousing suspicion.
The Drink Cup Concealment
A large drink is purchased and then brought into the store. You then proceed to drop small heavy items like jewelry into the drink cup. On leaving the store the drink cup is unlikely to be searched. You must be wary of drinking too much or the items will be revealed in the bottom of the cup.
Sleight of hand
This is a technique used to manipulate items by secretly palming them and hiding the items out of sight while diverting the sales associates attention somewhere else. This is easily done with jewelry and an inattentive sales person. While looking at multiple jewelry you have the sales person distracted while an expensive item is slipped into a pocket. Though it is easy to distract the human eye, the camera is a little harder to fool, so you must keep this in mind when using this tactic.
The Drop Bag
This Simple technique is use when a person brings a bag from another store in with them. As they shop around the store they will pick up two of the same items and inconspicuously drop one of the items into the open bag while looking the other item over. They then put the one item back as if they didn’t want it and make another selection.
A person will bring a foil lined bag that they made out of approximately 10 layers of heavy aluminum-foil, into a store. This is to help shield the security tags that are on merchandise from the alarm towers at the exit of a store. Choose small expensive items and place them into your Magic bag. The tags must be completely shielded for this to work. Seal the bag so that it cannot be penetrated by radio frequency. If there is a “leak” (i.e. If the signal from the tower reach the tag through a opening in the bag) the towers will be activated. You can test it by inserting a cell-phone in to the bag and calling the number. If the phone rings that means the layers are too thin, or there is a hole that is allowing the radio waves in. This bag will only work with the RF (radio frequency) tags. In order for it to work with AM (acousto-magnetic) tags you will need to increase the amount of foil to 30 layers of heavy aluminum-foil. A side note - you may use copper or tin plates instead of the foil to make a magic bag. The only issue with this would be weight. Read ‘Anti-Shoplifting Devices’ to better understand the difference between the RF and AM security tags.
Like the Magic Bag a shoebox is lined with the appropriate layers of aluminum-foil and inserted into a bag of a local store. The box is placed so the opening is facing up, thus when you are in a concealed area you can discreetly drop items into your box. When you are ready to leave, just close the box with the lid (which was never removed from the bag) and walk out.
You can line a hidden pocket inside of a jacket with aluminum-foil to create a Magic Bag. You would typically cut the bottom out of an inside pocket and then insert a envelope that has been wrapped in foil. You would then place small items into it and seal the flap so that the radio waves won’t penetrate the envelope.
Bag switching is attempted by two people who come into the store separately The first person will gather a large amount of merchandise that they want to remove from the store and place it into a large bag. They will then inconspicuously switch their bag with the second person, who has a matching bag that is already filled with items that came from another store. If Loss Prevention is watching the first person and miss the bag switch they will more then likely stop them while the second person walks out with the goods.
This Technique requires the use of a low priced box. You open the box and remove the contents of the box. You then proceed to refill the box with more expensive items. You then reseal the box and take it to a checkout aisle, where you pay the purchase price for the item. You then leave the store with the more expensive items concealed. If the items in the box have security tags on them they will still be active and will set off the alarm towers as you exit. Most of the time the staff will flag you through thinking a mistake was made at the register and the box was not deactivated. You can also leave the low priced item in the box if you have room for your concealed merchandise, make your purchase, then just bring the box with the item back in for a full refund.
This is a typical switch a roué technique where you leave a store with new shoes while leaving your old pair in the store. Some shoe stores will still have both shoes in the box with no security tags on them. These shoes will be the are the easiest to remove. Just swap out when no one is looking. If one of the shoes has a security tag in it then you will need to either use a tag detacher to remove it or if the tag is in a shoe lace hole you can cut the leather a little and pull the tag through the ripped hole. In a store where the employee has to retrieve shoes for you, find the shoes you wish to liberate. Once the salesperson retrieves the right pair, have them go back to the stock room to get another style so you can compare the two. Once the employee is sent back to the stockroom, you simply walk out with the new pair of shoes leaving the old pair in the box. It is always good to have at least two boxes of shoes left on the floor with the old pair in a bottom covered box and an other new pair exposed on top of it. This should allow you time to move away from the store as the employee seeing that you left the new shoes and boxes, will assume that you changed your mind and left.
High / Low Shopping Cart
With this technique two people will fill up a couple of shopping carts. One will have a few expensive items in it while the other cart will be full of miscellaneous items. You then proceed to the cashier and unload the expensive items first. The cashier scans the items and removes the security tags. As one person loads up the first cart with the high value goods the second person continues to unload the second cart. The second shopper distracts the cashier while the first leaves with the expensive items in the cart. When it comes time to pay the second shopper pays with an invalid credit card or gift card. After a few embarrassing moments the second shopper tells the cashier that they will have to go and get the first shopper who has the cash and leaves the rest of the items behind. They both then leave with the expensive items.
Shopping Cart Passing
Shopping cart passing is attempted by a two-person group. The first person will gather the desired merchandise into a shopping cart and take it to the register. The cashier will then ring up all the merchandise and place it in bags. Once the total is rung up, the shopper pays with an invalid credit card or gift card. Acting embarrassed for not being able to pay to first shopper leaves the store. Most cashiers will put the shopping cart off to the side and resume ringing up other customers. At this point, the second person moves in and grabs the cart and walks out of the store with the stolen merchandise already in bags.
Shopping Cart Hiding
You find the item that you are looking for and place it under the cart. You then continue to gather a small dollar amount of merchandise and places it in the upper part of the shopping cart. You then bring the cart to the register and remove all of the merchandise with the exception of the item you wish to take on the bottom of the cart. A lot of times this will be overlooked by the cahier and not rung up. Also small expensive items can be placed under large boxes or bags that are to big to be picked up at the register. If the cashier is not paying attention you will usually be able to get the merchandise past them without much effort. After paying for the smaller dollar items you leave the store.
You fill the cart with a lot of high dollar items and you then proceed to the exit. This technique works well when there are register stands throughout the store and there are multiple exits. It would also help to have a receipt in your hand from a prior visit so that it looks like you have paid for the items in the shopping cart.
The Self Bagger
With this technique you enter the store with the stores bags already on you. The bags should be as new as they can be and you should have already acquired them in advance. Never walk into a store and pick up a bag out of the recycle bin or an empty cashiers stand. Begin by making your selections and then proceed to a predetermined blind spot in the store. You will then bag up the merchandise and place it the cart. With the merchandise bagged proceed to leave the store. This works really well if there are multiple cashers stands through out the store.
The Texas Twofer
This in also called the Two for One technique and works well in stores that have multiple check out stands and exits. You enter the store and proceed to gather items you wish to take into a shopping cart. Then placing the cart in a predetermined out of the way area, you grab a second cart and gather the exact same items into the cart. You then take and pay for all those items and leave the store with your receipt. You can either have a second partner or do it yourself. Come back into the store with the receipt and go to your first cart. Bag up the items and proceed to another exit with your receipt as if you just purchased it. This technique could be done for a third time if the store has three exits, but I would caution that this should only be done with a partner.
This works best in Mall stores. You walk into a store with a bag of items from an other store. Inside the bag is a concealed active security tag that will trigger the security alarm towers at the entrance of the store. Make a big deal out of it and make sure an employee notices that it was you that trigger the gates as you entered. Comment that there must be something from another store in their bag that triggered the gates. Ask them if they want to hold onto your bag while you shop and just pick it up on the way out. Find the items you want and conceal them on your body. If you still have your bag you may want to put items underneath the items you brought in. Remember though an alert staff may want to look into your bag as you leave. Before you leave find the employee that saw you come in tell them that as you go out you might set of the alarms again. When you trigger the gates again, just keep on walking.
Have a friend enter the store a few minutes before you do and act as if you do not know each. You collect the items that you wish to take while your friend gets a few low dollar items and purchases them. As they leave the store you will walk out right behind them. As they reach the alarm towers have them hesitate a little as you walk through setting off the alarm. You discreetly keep on walking while your friend stops and draws all the attention by looking confused with the bags. They should be very co-operative and happily opens all of their bags for the employee to see yet nothing they have will triggers the gates again. Give an explanation of the False Alarm by saying that it must be cell phone interference.
You place an active tag into another shoppers bag while they are not paying attention. This works especially well with someone with children. You follow closely behind them as they walk through the alarm towers. The active tag will set off the alarm and the unsuspecting shopper will stop, as you continue to walk through. Parents will think that maybe their kid had something on them. All the attention will be on them as you leave the store.
Have a friend enter the store a few minutes before you do and act as if you do not know each other. The friend will walk around the store acting very suspicious. Picking up items and putting them into a pocket making sure that they are seen, but not being obvious. When an employee sees someone acting suspicious they will begin watch that person. You then proceed to the opposite side of the store and retrieve the merchandise that you wish to take. Make any necessary adjustments to the items in order to remove them and then leave. Your friend should place any objects that where concealed back and then depart. If they are stopped while exiting they can easy prove that they didn’t take anything.
The Bathroom Heist
You need two people for this. Have a friend go into the store a few minutes after you. You go in and select whatever you want. The second person will have already entered the store and gone into the restroom. Have them wait in a stall. You go in with the merchandise. Go into the other stall next to your friend. Peek down at your friend's shoes to make sure they are really next to you. Hand the merchandise under the stall, have them conceal the item and walk out first, leaving the store. You wait a couple of minutes, and then leave. If you are approached while leaving the store say you don’t know what they are talking about because you didn’t take anything. You decided not to buy anything and set the item down. You don’t what happened to it, it is not your reasonability to keep track of stores stuff. Do not admit to anything.!. You did nothing wrong and Loss Prevention will have to let you go.
This commonly happens at a grocery store. While you are walking around shopping, you pick up some food such as candy, and eat it. If questioned you say that you entered the store with the item. When you are done with the item you discard the empty package on a shelf.
Out The Wrong Door
Some stores will have a separate one way entrance and exit doors. The entrance door will normally not have an alarm and can not be opened from the inside of the store. The alarm towers will be on the exit doors. This method will require two people or the help of an unsuspecting customer. You go in and retrieve merchandise from the store and conceal it. When you are ready to leave the store with your items, you wait at the entrance door. Have your friend open the entrance door for you as you walk out. You could do this without a friends help. Just wait by the entrance as a customer comes in and grab the door before it closes and walk out.
You go into a store and shop like you normally would collecting as many expensive items as you can carry. As long as your appearance and attitude are not of a suspicious nature you should go unnoticed. Once you have collected your items just walk out and go to your car and leave. This is easily done in small clothing shops that do not have Loss Prevention. The sales associates will be slow to react. It could also be done in large department stores that have multiple entrances as long as you have a friend waiting in a car ready to leave. If the store has only Ink Tags you may not even be noticed as you leave. If an alarm sounds, then continue to walk calmly out the door.
Grab and Run
You enter a store with prior knowledge of what you are looking for. You move toward the merchandise you wish to take. Once you have the merchandise then proceed to the nearest store exit, very quickly. I recommend two people, one as a driver and the other as the runner. Before entering the parking lot for the store, remove the license plate. Coordinate watches and have a set time that the car will pull up the door. Before dashing out, make sure the driver knows to open the rear passenger door. This way you can just run out and dive into the back as the driver peels off because employees are sure to follow you out. Find a safe place to reattach your license plate. Due to the short time that you are inside the store, the people who attempt this are rarely caught, or in some cases even detected. Also a group of people can rush a store and grab as much merchandise as possible and then rush out. The speed with which this happens and the large numbers of people involved make it very difficult to stop.
This a very old technique and still may work from time to time especially during the holidays. A person gathers a lot of expensive merchandise into a cart and goes to the nearest Emergency Exits . You grab all of your items, push the bar that sets off an alarm and open the door. Have a friend in a car waiting right outside the door for a fast get away. You need to remember that exits will usually have cameras watching them and all of your actions and your face could be recorded. Emergency exits will all have alarms and the newer ones are on a time release. This means when you hit it, it will not open for 10 seconds after the alarm goes off. Loss Prevention are very aware of this tactic and will be watching for suspicious behavior around these doors.
An easy scam done by a cashier is to have a barcode stuck on the inside of their wrist so when a friend wishes to purchase something, instead of swiping the item the cashier actually swipes their wrist. This is effective when purchasing fifty dollar video games, which will actually ring up a couple packs of gum. This method eludes security cameras since it looks like an actual sale transaction is taking place.
This technique requires that you already have a receipt for the merchandise that you are going to return. You could search either retailer’s parking lot or trashcans looking for receipts that have a high dollar item on it paid for in cash. The problems with this is that stores try to prevent this type of return by installing outdoor cameras to watch the parking lots. Some will also have a greater who will give you a sticker when you enter with a return. This prevents people from acquiring items from within the store to return. Newer stores now have their return desk entrance separate from the store entrance to prevent you from doing this. If these are not issues then enter the store and compare the items on the receipt to the merchandise in the store. Once the you find a match take the merchandise to the return area and receive money for it.
With this technique you need a partner who waits out side as you enter the store.
You select an expensive item and proceed to the checkout and purchase the item. Outside of the store you Pass the receipt and the stores bag off to your partner while you take the item to your car. With the receipt and bag concealed the second person goes into the store and finds the same item. they will then inconspicuously place the item into the bag and pick up a cheaper item on the way to the registers. With the receipt in hand they pay for the cheap item telling the casher they thought that they had better get this item before they leave.
You go to the returns desk with a receipt and a box that contains a used or broken item, or something that has the same weight as the original item. This is best done when the return cashiers are busy and will not open the package. It also helps to have completely resealed the box and saying that it has never been opened. You would just like to have something different. However most high dollar items and almost all electronics will have a serial number on the outside of the box and it will be scanned at time of purchase. If it is returned, it will have to match the serial number on the item inside the box. They will open the box to double check it. You should have purchased the original item with cash so as to leave no evidence pointing to you.
This method is a little more involved then most techniques because it requires you to have a thermal printer and receipt paper from the store you wish to make returns to. This can only be done with stores that do not use Bar-coding identification on the receipts. You purchase a few high value items with cash and gain a receipt that you can then copy. You proceed to make multiple copies of the same receipt so that you can use them to return items that you have taken from the store for a cash refund.
This is a way of receiving cash or a store merchandise card without a receipt. You could attempt to remove items from off of the sales floor, walk up to the return desk, say that you lost your receipt and you would like to receive a refund. Unfortunately this is a risky move because Loss Prevention might be watching you as you go the return desk. After concealing the items, you leave the store. You would then proceed to another store and return the item there with out a receipt. Most stores will now require you to have a photo ID to return an item without a receipt and will limit how many returns you can make in a year. Large dollar amounts will always have to be approved by a supervisor. You can have fake Ids made up so that you can return more often to a store.
In stores that have garden centers one may be capable of sliding small expensive items under the fence. You then leave out the exit and come around to where slide your item under the fence. Or you could slide it to a waiting friend on the other side. Just remember to watch for those outdoor cameras.
Key & Serial Numbers
Many people download versions of games or software from the internet but cannot use the full version without a valid license. There are a couple ways of obtaining a license without removing the merchandise from the store. Take the item into a blind spot so that the packaging can be removed. Conceal the item and then take it into the privacy of a bathroom or dressing room to remove the packaging. Copy the serial number and then place the package in an inconspicuous place away from prying eyes.
A person buys a piece of software from a computer store, exits, opens the software, and records the serial number / CD key for single license of the software purchased. After at least a few hours the same person re-enters the store where he bought the software and complains to customer service that the installation disc is defective. Most computer store policies allow same-item exchange for opened computer software, so the person is given a different copy of the same software. The person now has two licenses after only paying for one.
It is possible to pass small items expensive items or large items through the self checkout without scanning them. You can do this if you have a lot of items you are purchasing. You can take a large item and pretend to scan it and place it right into the bag at the same time you pick up on the bag and place into your cart. The bagging area has a weigh scale that checks the weight of the scanned items. If there is a discrepancy, the supervising attendant is signaled to come to the station for assistance. The object is to never let the unscanned item sit in the bagging area. The scales will some times miss small light items so you could place multiple items into a bag without the computer noticing it. Beware - these checkout lanes are watched very closely by LP. Most have a camera overhead watching what you scan and a computer screen off site mirroring what your scanning.
While you are shopping you find an expensive item that you wish to have. You also noticed a cheaper version of the same item. You copy the numbers down from the UPC / Barcode off of the cheaper item. You can find bar coding applications and information on the internet that will generate a bar code for you. Print one out on a sticky label and then take it back into the store and place it over the barcode of the expensive item. Go through the checkout process, make a payment, have any security tags deactivated by the cashier and then walk out without arousing suspicion with your new item.
You find an item on clearance and remove the clearance tag. You then find a similar high dollar item and apply the clearance tag to it. You then bring the high dollar item to an unsuspecting cashier and pay for it at a clearance price. Unfortunately most retailers today now utilize electronic barcodes that when scanned will ring up the correct price.
Gift Card Cloning
With this tactic you go into a store and remove a bunch of Gift Cards that have no value. With a card reader you obtain the numbers off of the magnetic strip on the back of the cards and make copies of them. You then return the cards and wait for a customer to activate one. Once activated and money is added to the card the value is also then passed to the cloned card.
Opps - Did I Do That
When a person takes their place in the check out line with the items they intend to take, and pay for only one of those items while holding what they want to take in full view to cause confusion but avoid suspicion due to their apparent intention of payment. If the unlikely event of being caught, they could simply pass off the attempt as accidental.