How to Prevent Employee Theft in Your Retail Business

How to Prevent Employee Theft in Your Retail Business

Nobody ever wants to think that their employees are stealing from them. When you run a small to medium-sized retail business, your employees become like family to you. Many of them have worked for you for years, maybe even decades. It can break your heart when you find out one of them is stealing from you. You must realize that it’s usually not personal.

Most employees who decide to embezzle from their employers have outside issues going on. Stealing from you is often just something they do out of desperation. Either way, if you plan on addressing the theft, you should talk to a Spartanburg private investigator. All you have to do is call our office and set up a time to conduct your free consultation.

Employees are Very Creative When It Comes to Theft

One of the reasons it can be hard to catch an employee stealing from you is that they’re very sneaky about doing it. It’s not as if they’re going to grab a wad of cash out of the register when you turn your back. Most employees who commit theft have very elaborate schemes they run against your company. Some of these may include:

They Falsify Returns of Defective {roducts

An employee may pretend a customer returned a high-priced item because of a defect, knowing your policy is to throw them out. All they have to do is log the return. Then they take the cash for the returned amount. You don’t suspect a thing because they’re not supposed to keep the item. They just throw it out.

To catch something like this, you’ll want to look to see if any of your cashiers have a high number of return items for cash. If so, you may want to ask your staff to store any returned items going forward so you can salvage them. If you notice your returns dwindle, you may have stopped their theft.

Invisible Purchases

Some savvy employees may do cash transactions with a customer without entering it into the register. For example, a customer wants to buy a sweatshirt for $20. They pay cash and leave without asking for a receipt. Your employee pockets the cash and just doesn’t ring up the sale. By the time you notice it, you’ll have a hard time tracking it back to that one individual.

Stealing Inventory

If your employee is desperate to steal something of value but can’t devise a system to steal cash, they’ll start taking inventory. They may steal high-priced items on their way out after their shift. Then they either sell the item, return it to another store for credit, or have a friend return it to your store for a cash refund.

If you notice any of these things, you should call an experienced Spartanburg private investigator. They can get to the bottom of your issue and get proof to show who your culprit is.

Never Accuse an Employee of Stealing Without Proof

One thing you don’t want to do is accuse an employee of theft without ample proof. Even if you have them on video doing something suspicious, hold off on making any accusations. First, you may scare them off. If that happens, they’ll stop showing up from work and you’ll lose the chance to prosecute. Or they’ll destroy the evidence so you can’t prove they did anything wrong. The other issue is that you tell your manager who, in turn, lets the staff know you’ve caught wind of what they’re doing.

You Have the Option of Pressing Criminal Charges

Once your Spartanburg private investigator has the proof you need, you’ll have a decision to make. You can either press criminal charges against your employee for the theft or you can simply fire them. If they didn’t steal a lot of money, it may be easier to just let them go. Make sure to document the incident and keep copies of your proof. You’ll need this to prove to unemployment that they were fired for cause. This will stop the theft problem without making you jump through the criminal hoops of filing charges.

Your Spartanburg Private Investigator Will Gather the Evidence You Need

If you own a retail store, your forte is in sales and merchandising. You’re not a private investigator. That’s why you should rely on a skilled Spartanburg private investigator to handle things for you. Call today and schedule your free consultation so you can get the ball rolling.

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