Can Cameras Catch Shoplifters?

Can Cameras Catch Shoplifters?

Can Cameras Catch Shoplifters?

Closed Circuit televisions (CCTV) are useful as an additional layer of security to any shop or retail store. Have you ever paused to ask yourself: can cameras catch shoplifters?

Whether you own a small-business or a large business, CCTV cameras can prove useful in guarding against shoplifters.

Cameras are used in many business establishments to curb theft and shoplifting.

This article will answer that question and seek to enlighten you more on the use and relevance of cameras in shops and other establishments.

Cameras, on their own, will not catch any shoplifter! They got no hands or mechanism to accomplish such a task.

However, this is not to say that cameras are useless in shops. No. indeed, cameras come in handy in minimizing shoplifting.

However, there is a need for some security personnel to supplement the camera for the operation to be successful.

What the CCTV camera will do is to capture the images happening in the shop.

It is the responsibility of the security personnel to keep an eye on what the camera capture and monitor any suspicious behavior exhibited by any potential shoplifter.

Can Cameras Catch Shoplifters?

Once security personnel sees a person steal through the assistance of the camera, they can identify the person and search them.

Fundamentally, when you have security cameras in your business, there are increased chances that your business is more secure.

This is only possible if you are aware of what you are looking for.

You must spot the shoplifter before they leave your store. Cameras can help solve a crime after it happens. However, it is best to catch the thief in the act.

How Can You Spot A Shoplifter On Your Security Cameras?

Some shoplifters will go into a shop in a group. Once they are in the shop or near, they will cause some disturbance due to distraction.

Once security personnel and employees are snared by the distraction, the shoplifters can steal without being detected.

Therefore, when you see a similar incident, it is time to carefully monitor your cameras to see what could be happening behind the scenes.

Do not also lose sight of your entire store in the process.

Shoplifters are careful to notice traffic patterns in your shop. One of the times that you want to be careful and extremely vigilant is during shift changes.

Busy times are very convenient for any shoplifter to execute their purpose. As a consequence, ensure that you do not have all your employees change at the same time.

For instance, you may decide to allow your security personnel to change about half an hour before the rest of your employers.

This will be useful to ensure that they keep an eye on while the others are changing.

As you enforce this, your security personnel will have a fresh eye during the most vulnerable time for shoplifting attacks.

Shoplifters are aware that towards the end of a shift, people are not only tired but also less vigilant.

They will effectively exploit this, and it is needful to take note and put the necessary precautions in place. The store owner will also need to be watchful at this time.

Shoplifters will try to spend a lot of time in your shop. This is a well-calculated move to seize the right opportunity to perpetrate their act.

In most cases, these are empty visits, and they will buy nothing all that time.

Consequently, you will need to monitor any customer who takes too much time in your shop and is seemingly loitering in the shop.

Here is where your security camera comes in handy. It will be high time to use your camera and monitor every move such a person makes.

If they are wearing baggy clothes, take notice of that since these are the ones they use to stash stolen items.

Another way to spot a shoplifter on your camera is when they get out of a dressing room with fewer items than they entered with.

shoplifters go to the extent of working in groups to ensure that they confuse dressing room attendants and conceal their activities.

It is, therefore, needful that as the shop owner, you make use of your camera as a backup plan.

Shoplifters can be identified from your camera as they look at everything, but their actions do not match their eyes.

If a person’s eyes are in discord with whatever they are doing, they are a person to watch.

What such a person may be doing is trying to steal without being detected. Shoplifters will pay more attention to staff than to the shopping and pick items while not looking.

On the contrary, a genuine shopper will be interested in items on the shelf and pay less attention to the staff. This is a glaring difference that can easily be spotted in your camera.

How Do Cameras Protect Against Shoplifting?

The number one way that cameras protect against shoplifters is by creating a deterrent.

Scarcely will a shoplifter proceed to steal if they notice that your outlet has a camera monitoring the happenings.

Additionally, cameras can turn away robbers who plan to prey on your staff once they discover that you have monitoring cameras.

Cameras also watch the property. When you install a surveillance camera, it acts as your safeguard against crime and theft.

Can Cameras Catch Shoplifters?

They have been rightly described as another set of HD eyes whose services your property will benefit from.

Cameras can capture shoplifters in the act. Due to innovations in technology, it is possible to monitor your camera’s footage virtually.

It can be accessed through your mobile devices. Additionally, cameras can even capture your employees stealing from you.

How Can You Use Security Cameras To Protect Your Store?

Profitability and failure in your shop may depend on your ability to reduce the amount of theft that you incur. Security cameras can be useful in making a huge difference.

They do this by the provision of the needed backup to your employees. The good thing to note is that very few shoplifters are professionals.

Indeed, many who shoplift do it occasionally since only 3% are in it for a living.

Knowing that a vast majority of shoplifters are amateurs, you can gain confidence that nabbing them will be easier than your earlier anticipation.  This is an advantage on your part.

In the US, $58.9 billion was lost in revenue in 2019 as a result of shoplifting. This is a huge retail revenue loss that left many businesses struggling to stay afloat.

This trend continues to rise with every passing day. It is needful to ensure that your shop does not join the statistics.

Shoplifting has been known to bring much pain to the investors as well as uncalled for loss. This loss can be prevented and minimized by the use of cameras in your business.

Before you think of installing security cameras in your store, ensure that you de-clutter your store.

If your store is unorganized and cluttered, shoplifters will find it a lot easier to carry out their activities.

Additionally, if your store is messy, it will be doubly hard to keep track of your inventory. All displays, dressing rooms, and shelves should be kept neat.

It is also needful to ensure that your store is adequately lit to avoid any dark spots. Shoplifters will be easily drawn to dark corners.

Another thing that needs to be checked is the attention of your employees. If your employees spends more time on their smartphones, you are courting disaster.

When you have all this in place, install cameras in your retail store. It will be an added advantage if your cameras connect wireless to your WiFi.

This will be needful for you to watch the video feed from any location.

You can also choose to use hidden cameras so that any shoplifter cannot suspect the camera’s location and try to block its view.

This will be advantageous as shoplifters will scarcely guess your security strategy. This is the surest way to catch a shoplifter in the act.

If you intend to press criminal charges on the suspect, the camera is an added advantage as the video feed can provide police with the required evidence.

What Do You Do When You Catch A Shoplifter?

When you suspect someone is trying to steal anything from your shop, do not be hasty. It is illegal to detail someone that you only suspect to have shoplifted.

You must see them steal the merchandise and hide it on themselves or in their belongings. Do not be hasty to accuse anyone of shoplifting before you have all the evidence.

If you have already suspected that someone intends to shoplift, keep your eye on them constantly. Wait for the suspect to take the merchandise, hide and leave the shop.

This is because it is not a crime for anyone to hide an item in themselves as long as they do not attempt to leave the building without paying.

After the suspect leaves the shop to remove any dispute that they intended to pay, take note that a shoplifter can still argue that they intended to pay or were still shopping if there are items that are displayed outside the shop.

Ensure that as you approach the shoplifter, you are not alone. Ensure that the gender of the suspect is the same as that of one of you.

After this, attempt to approach the shoplifter calmly. Stop them and identify yourself in a calm but firm manner.

Tell the shoplifter what they stole and where they have hidden it, and then try to get it out.

This must be done carefully to avoid being hurt.

If the shoplifter runs away, do not chase them as this may pose more danger to other shoppers if you discover that the suspect does not have the item with them, apologize.

On the other hand, they still have the merchandise and comply with going with you, take them back to the store, and take photos of the suspect together with the merchandise.

Immediately call the police to avoid being charged for unlawful detention. If you detain the suspect too long, this can work against you in the long run.

Therefore, ensure that you hand them over to the police as soon as it is reasonably practical.

Again, if the shoplifter is an elderly person, a minor, or a mentally challenged person, it is reasonable to call their relatives instead of the police.

When the relatives come, explain to them and let them go if you can. You do not want to appear as a store owner who is not reasonable and inconsiderate.

Otherwise, this may negatively impact your sales. If, however, the shoplifter is a person you wish to sue, look at the estimated value of what they had stolen.

If the value is small, it may qualify the crime as a felony or misdemeanor. It is needful to be aware of your state laws before you take further steps.

It is important to abstain from using verbal threats or foul language to the shoplifter as this is considered unlawful. Let the police handle the matter from this point.


Security cameras are useful for the overall surveillance of your store. They will help prevent and also minimize shoplifting in your shop.

When supplemented by security staff, security cameras will help catch shoplifters in the act and provide evidence of thee happening.

It is hard for them to deny once they know they were captured in video footage.

Once you catch a shoplifter, ensure that you do not handle them for long but hand them over to the police in good time to avoid any unnecessary counter happenings.


Hi! I' am Tom. I was a manager in one of the biggest stores for over 10 Years, am also an SEO by night. I don't like to call myself a blogger; they are very analytical, do email marketing, and know all SEO stuff. I faced many questions from customers about different products, and there was hardly any help on the internet. After learning all the things about these products as a manager the hard way, I decided to start a blog and help other people.

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