Employee Theft is real
Employee theft is the biggest type of theft .
One security expert, who heads national security for a jeans chain, says Australian retail staff help themselves to $70 million worth of stock a year—70 per cent of all shoplifting (Sydney Morning Herald, Good Weekend 16 August 1990). The National Retail Crime Prevention Council put shop theft by staff at $300 million per annum, half the then national estimate.
There are numerous ways for staff to steal from their employers:
- straightforward theft of goods and money;
- under-charging customer accomplices;
- adjusting delivery dockets;
- under-ringing purchases at the cash register;
- fiddling the shrinkage records;
- deliberately damaging goods to buy at staff discount;
- using company time and facilities for personal projects;
- increasing creditors’ invoices and keeping the difference;
- replacing perfect items with seconds in the warehouse or store;
- adding a last-minute item to the receipt but not ringing it up;
- picking up receipts for later inclusion in the register as ‘voids’ or ‘refunds’;
- palming a forgetful customer’s credit card;
- fraudulent refunding;
- conspiracies of middle management employees.
Some retailers choose to turn a blind eye to much staff theft: they may be unwilling to hound staff because of the effects on morale, it may simply be cheaper to ignore it, or some degree of pilfering may be regarded as a perk to keep otherwise satisfactory employees. Besides, the cost can always be passed on to the customers.