The Organized Retail Crime Shopping List

Is it possible to completely prevent Organized Crime in retail stores?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to keep your store 100% crime-free. However, there are measures you can take to reduce risk. Begin by identifying their targets. While organized gangs take advantage of opportunities, there are products that they prefer. Items that can be easily stolen and quickly resold via fencing operations are generally at the top of the list. Once you’ve identified what those products are, and where they are placed throughout your store, you can begin to implement security measures to ensure that these items stay on your shelves and out of their hands.

Here are some of the top Organized Crime targets and what you can do to protect them:

1. Electronics (Cells phones, tablets, laptops)

Mobile devices are at risk both in your stock room and on display. Devices can also be protected while on display. Metal clamps are a great way to secure electronics. Many offer sleek designs that encourage customer engagement while providing maximum security

2. Pharmaceuticals

Crimes involving addicts can be tough on employees and customers, as they are often erratic and have a higher propensity for violence. Forming partnerships with local law enforcement agencies and associations can be vital in dealing with these types of criminals.

3. Clothing/accessories

For many apparel retailers the fitting room presents one of the biggest challenges in the battle against organized crime. They are out of range of most surveillance cameras and present the perfect environment to conceal items before removing them from the store.

Small businesses are particularly vulnerable as they lack the security resources afforded to their big-box counterparts. As a result, they are the perfect targets for these types of property crimes. Devices that sense magnetic motion are great for sniffing out illegal detachers within change-room areas.

RFID & EAS tags can also be helpful with protecting merchandise and alerting staff. The fitting room will always be one of the more challenging areas in your retail store, however, solid procedures coupled with the right solutions can greatly reduce risk.


When it’s all said and done, organized crime will continue to happen, and retailers will continue to deal with the increasing challenges and complications that it presents. However, by staying on top of changing trends, working with local officials and utilizing innovative technologies, you can minimize your exposure to organized crime.

*Article originally published in