Accusations of Shoplifing at the Self-Checkout
Psychologists believe that, although people are inherently good, when given the opportunity to get something free through stealing, many people are likely to make an attempt. With this in mind, grocery stores and retailers across the country prefer to have a staff member in each department. These employees are intentionally placed to dissuade shoplifting through their presence. Managers and loss prevention specialist believe making eye-contact with someone debating shoplifting discourages the potential offender, keeping them honest and decreasing loss. Although thwarted on the sales floor, there are other opportunities for theft to occur. Money and product are often lost at the checkout counter.
Tactical or Mistake?
Everyone makes mistakes. Upon returning home after a shopping trip, customers will find that - while scanning quickly and providing excellent customer service by having a conversation - the cashier accidentally missed an item, and the store did not receive proper payment. At the self-checkout lane, items mistakenly are not scanned for many reasons, even when passed over the barcode reader. However, this is an opportunity that many use to obtain items without payment. There are two behaviors used most frequently to cheat at self-checkout lanes. These tactics are:
- The pass around: Items intentionally pass around the scanner from the basket to the bagging area, making the transaction appear legitimate although avoiding proper payment.
- Weight abuse: During self-checkout, high priced items are placed on the scale, but the product item number of a lower cost item is entered for payment.
The Stores Strike Back
Although paying for produce, paying the incorrect cost for the item received still results in a loss for the company. When this occurs at a high enough rate, prices around the store begin to increase to cover the loss profit margin. Practices such as these are essential for stores to create the revenue necessary to continue the business; however, it is detrimental to customers overall. Therefore, measures are in place to reduce theft occurrence at the self-checkout line. Some are:
- Employing staff to monitor counters,
- Weight detecting bagging areas,
- Cameras at each counter, and
- Receipt checks at store exits.
Accidents happen all the time. Entering the wrong product code for produce may be a result of a slip of the finger, or additional items in the bagging area may occur because you heard the “beep” and assumed the item scanned, but the sound came from the adjacent scanner. If you face shoplifting accusations and would like someone to listen to your story, someone who can help you find a solution to the problem, schedule your free initial consultation with a Maywood, IL shoplifting defense attorney today by calling Stringini & Garvey, P.C. today at 630-834-9595. We use our over 65 years of combined experienced to defend our clients in Maywood, Glendale Heights, Lombard, Bloomingdale, and all surrounding Chicagoland areas.