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What a Security Guard Can Do During a Suspected Shoplifting Attempt

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Security guards perform different roles depending on where they have been deployed. In a shopping center, one of their tasks is to prevent or apprehend people suspected of shoplifting. This article discusses the different actions that a security guard can take when someone is suspected of shoplifting. If you're considering hiring extra security, use this information to understand how important security guards are in preventing and responding to acts of shoplifting in your retail store.

Prevent the Suspect from Getting Rid of the Evidence

In most jurisdictions, only law enforcement officers such as police officers are mandated to make an arrest. Thus, the role of the security guard is to prevent the suspected shoplifter from dumping the evidence (the items he or she took out of the store without paying). The security guard can do this by retrieving the stolen items from the suspect while they are still outside the store.

The retrieved items can then be handed over to the police as evidence of the crime. This evidence can also be instrumental in defending you against any liability suit that the suspect may file (for wrongful detention, for example).

Protect Other Shoppers from Harm

Some shoplifting suspects can turn violent when they are apprehended. They can attack store employees or shoppers in order to use them as shields so that the suspect gets away. The security guard normally tries to prevent the situation from escalating to a level where other people in the store or near it are put in harm's way.

He or she can do that by physically restraining the suspect. The method of restraint used will depend on the prevailing situation. For instance, he or she can hold the suspect by the belt or handcuff the suspect in order to prevent him or her from getting away. This will remove any likelihood that the suspect will pose any danger to other people nearby so your store will be safe from any violent scenes.

Obtaining Witnesses

Security guards can also aid the successful prosecution of shoplifters by getting witnesses to the crime. They can do this in a number of ways. First, the guards can work in teams of at least two individuals so the backup person provides witness testimony about what happened. They can also enlist the help of store personnel to observe the entire process of taking the suspect into custody. This ensures that there will be people on hand to corroborate the statement of the security guards in case the suspect is taken to court.

It is therefore important for you to hire security guards from resources like Backup Security Services in case you own or run a retail store so that shoplifters are properly detained and prosecuted.