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Stay Safe on the Job

Helpful tips for dealing with thieves and intruders

Working in retail puts you at a particular risk of confronting a thief or intruder. Characteristics that put you at a higher risk include the following:

  • Handling money
  • Night-time shifts or finishing shifts after dark
  • Working alone or in small numbers
  • Easy escape
  • Poor visibility

It is a good idea to prepare now so that if you are ever faced with the situation, you will be able to react accordingly.


Preventing Theft

The best way of dealing with theft is with prevention.

  • Greet and make eye contact with every person that enters.
  • If you see suspicious behavior in any area, courteously ask the person if they need assistance.
  • Always show that you are alert and aware of all customer activity by actively moving around the store.
  • Lock the back doors whenever open for business.
  • Be aware of and report any strange behavior, i.e., individuals loitering on the premises.


General Guidelines

Think about the following guidelines and visualize how you would deal with a thief or intruder in :

  • If you witness someone attempting to steal merchandise, do not run after the perpetrator or intervene. Attacking a thief could mean harm to you and possibly the loss of your job.
  • Do not follow the thief out of the store or shop. The possibility of causing harm to innocent bystanders escalates in this situation.
  • Call the police and notify your supervisor of the situation as soon as possible. Once your supervisor is aware, he or she will be able to decide which steps to take.
  • If you witness a theft and the thief calmly walks away from the scene, try to make conversation with the suspect. If the situation becomes violent or hostile in any way, back off and contact the police.


Know Who to Contact

Keep the phone numbers of local authorities listed near all phones on the premises and memorized on your cell phone for quick access in the event of an emergency.