After having losses totaling several thousand dollars in one year, due to theft in self-checkout machines, a store at a popular university in the United States implemented new measures to try to curb the problem. The idea is to try to reduce the constant increase of this expensive crime that is carried out at self-checkout kiosks.
The University Store, a non-profit co-op in Princeton, New Jersey, serving the students of Princeton University, has been grappling with the issue of self-checkout machine theft for a while now. However, after suffering losses amounting to thousands of dollars, the store has decided to implement new technology to curb further losses.
Increasing Security Measures at the Self-Checkout Machines – Don’t Get Caught
The University Store has increased its security measures by installing security cameras and cautionary signs in the store. According to Daily Princetonian student journalist Louisa Gheorghita, there are new security camera monitors and signs posted throughout the store. This move comes in response to the rise in theft at the store.
The store is well-known for selling Princeton University-related merchandise and fast food. However, it has become a target for shoplifters, with more alleged shoplifters being caught on camera thanks to the store’s recent upgrade to security cameras.
Self-Checkout Lanes and the Rise in Theft That Costs Millions to the Industry
University Store President, Jim Sykes, noted that the rise in theft was particularly prevalent in the self-checkout lanes. He explained that the convenience of self-checkout systems lulls customers into a false sense of safety, encouraging them to steal. Purported shoplifters have been caught on camera omitting items from their scans.
The store has had cameras installed for the past 15 years, with updates occurring every five. However, people still tried to get the five-finger discount, even though cameras were present. According to Sykes, the organization’s losses due to theft are substantial. He estimated a yearly loss of $40,000 to $50,000, which is typical for a company of their size.
Most Commonly Stolen Categories in Self-Checkout Kiosks
Sykes noted that food and cosmetics are the two most commonly stolen categories from the store. Other bogus thefts from the building were also caught on camera. It’s not uncommon for customers to open a bag of some grocery and eat it inside the store, leaving the empty pack hidden without paying it. Also, some other costumers haven been seen heating something in the microwave, to just eat it after without paying for it.
This is a concern that costs millions and millions to the industry, not only in small stores like the one at Princeton University, but also in larger retailers like Costco, Walmart, and others.