University of Florida Develops Techniques to
Quell Rampant Shoplifting
Fla., Dec. 12, 2014 US retailers report collectively losing over $45
billion in merchandise annually, with over $10 billion of that per year to
shoplifting. December is a peak loss month. To help combat these problems,
40 major retail chains formed a specialized research council to facilitate
use of science to curtail theft and violence. As part of this effort, a
specialized University of Florida research team interviews offenders,
large datasets, and conducts field experiments to adapt and devise new crime
control methods and technologies.
The team, headed by University of Florida research criminologist Dr. Read
works with retail asset protection executives and security technology
in fully-operating stores and their parking lots to create or calibrate
crime control countermeasures. Much of this critical work centers on
evolving analytical and deterrent measures designed to affect would-be
decisions to reduce crime attempts and resulting injuries and losses.
combines rapidly developing technologies and the psychology of decision-
to better prevent crime attempts," says Dr. Hayes.
company executives engage with the UF team via working groups that focus in
specialized areas including video solutions, product protection, supply
protection, and organized retail crime control to develop and rigorously
existing and emerging crime control methods. Current crime prevention
include improving loss control from fitting and restrooms, better protecting
electronics and health and beauty care products, affecting large organized
and fraud syndicates, countering robbery and parking lot crime.
Participating retailers aim to better serve their customers through
collaboration and science-driven innovation of crime and loss control
with the University of Florida and the Loss Prevention Research Council,
located in Gainesville, FL where numerous retail chains work with the UF
innovation. These over 40 progressive retailers include Bloomingdales,
Target, CVS, Pep Boys, Big Lots, Best Buy, T-Mobile, Office Depot, Kay
dressbarn, eBay, The Home Depot, Walgreens, Kroger, Walmart, Rite Aid, Toys
Us, Sears/Kmart, Publix Super Markets, AutoZone, and Verizon.
For more information please contact:
Read Hayes, PhD
Research Scientist, University of Florida
Director, Loss Prevention Research Council
3324 W. University Ave., Ste. 351
Gainesville, FL 32607