A store detective is a member of the retail industry who is responsible for detecting and preventing theft, and reducing returns in a retail outlet. They do this by patrolling the store in plain clothes looking to identify the people who steal from the store.
These days, there are more common terms such as loss prevention agent, detective or investigator and asset protection officer at big retailers. Special officer is currently infrequently used as few jurisdictions have adopted this term.
Store Detective Overview
Store detectives are independent contractors hired for a specific time, but most are employees of the retailer or a security firm with an outsourcing arrangement, or a security agency with a similar arrangement. The job requires patrolling retail stores in addition to being an ordinary shopper.
The detective keeps a record of a suspicious behavior, and draws conclusions from this information. The goal of the store detective is to witness a criminal act by a shoplifter. They observe individuals choosing an item, taking it without paying for it, hiding it and leaving the store without having paid for the item.
A store detective differs from a security guard because the latter’s role is overt. If a law enforcement official observes an individual shoplifting, he may detain that individual, or apprehend those individuals during their attempted theft. State laws and local ordinances vary in regards to what constitutes shoplifting and how a suspect may be detained/arrested.
Store Detective Requirements Depending on Jurisdiction
Most agencies require their store detectives to have a positive employment history and show no criminal record. Experienced in the military, fire and rescue, or security fields is a plus.
There are many different organisations offering store detective courses and also the store detective must be trained by a licensed organisation. Security management training programs are available from numerous training organizations ranging in difficulty level.
Additional Duties of a Store Detective
Many organizations assign the task of identifying credit card fraud and theft activity to store detective staff. They work closely with law enforcement agencies to ensure that crimes are prosecuted successfully.
Once a year, companies sometimes randomly check their employees’ lockers and bags. Retail store detectives are commonly known as loss prevention officers or perhaps asset protection officers. Management functions and field investigator functions in the retail industry also exist.
Store Detective Skills and Abilities
A store detective employs several detection measures to determine whether shoplifters exist. Keen observation and good teamwork are the primary weapons in arrests, and the use of CCTV. A variety of skills that can assist in blending in in various shopping environments is also important. They have an understanding of legal precedent and understand how their role is dictated by law.
Most store detectives are unarmed and use non-violent techniques for arrest and/or restraint. Some people carry covert microphones and earpieces attached to a radio in order to monitor suspected shoplifters at specific retail establishments as they move through the area. Contact us if you’re looking for a store detective of loss prevention officer. We have security officers in all 50 States.