A number of cases of theft from businesses have been happening throughout the precinct. Most recently the suspects have been Juvenile Somali males, but historically this group of suspects cross all ethnicities.
The suspects enter the business as a group and while some may distract staff others are entering employee-only area and stealing from purses, backpacks, and other personal items left in what they believed was a secure area by staff. The other type of theft we have seen are thefts from tip jars that are set on the counter or near the cash register.
Secure areas for staff personal belongings need to actually be secured, maybe lockers or a locked closet
While these groups may come in and be intimidating to some staff, the polite but direct, friendly interaction as a person enters the business (this is the reasoning behind the Walmart Greeter) is often a great deterrent to crime
Consider a tip container on the counter that has a lock on it and is bolted to the counter
Instruct staff to keep their phone in a pocket if it must be on them and keys for the business secured on a lanyard or belt
Do not leave the till open, staff can be easily distracted
Monitor the movement of people that come into the business, be creative with shelving to allow the store to be monitored easily and suspects not to be able to be hidden and allowed to make their way into areas that they should not be in- if you do not have public restrooms, don’t allow anyone into the back area where employee restrooms may be.
Please make sure that the business is not totally reliant on video cameras, often the pictures are not great or the system is not working, please stress how important it is to get good descriptions of suspects especially if there is something unique about the suspect or their clothing.
You can request a crime prevention walkthrough from the Crime Prevention Specialist at the precinct for free advice on improvements specific to your business. We're in the 5th Precinct.