DVBIA Top 7 Preventative Tips to Stop Shoplifting

With safety being a large concern for most of our members and business owners, the DVBIA has put together some top preventative tips to minimize shoplifting from your business.


A shoplifter is a person who steals goods from a store while pretending to be a customer. Shoplifting can be done in one of two ways:

  • By concealing an item and walking out of the store
  • By keeping an item in plain view and walking out of the store

In either case, it means a financial loss to the businesses they target. There are several types of behaviours that shoplifters will exhibit, and a variety of techniques they will use to carry out their crime.

What to look out for:

When honest customers shop, they will generally look at items and check the price and size to determine if they want, need, or can afford the item. Shoplifters don’t generally exhibit this behaviour and will instead look around the store to identify cameras and employees. Some shoplifters will wear sunglasses to disguise the fact that they are not looking at items. If a shoplifter is offered service by an employee, they will often give a vague answer like “just looking, thanks” in the hope that the employee will leave them alone to go about their business.

Top 7 preventative tips:

1. Training

Make sure that your employees are trained at spotting and identifying potential shoplifters and learning tactics to deter shoplifters with customer service.

2. Neat and Organized

Keep your store and the display shelves neat and organized so your employees  can observe customers and determine if something has gone missing.


Eliminate blind spots by placing mirrors in the corners and consider using an electronic surveillance system or camera to monitor your store and merchandise.

4. It’s all About Visual Merchandise

Prevent grab-and-runs by keeping merchandise away from the exits and design your layout in a way that all customers enter and exit the store by passing security personnel or employees.      

5. Lock it up

Keep expensive items in locked cases and limit the number of items an employee may remove at any one time and always ensure the item is replaced when the customer has finished.

6. Monitor Your Rooms

The entrances to fitting rooms and restrooms should be watched at all times. Limit the number of items taken into a fitting room, and don’t allow un-paid merchandise to be taken into the restrooms.

7. Watch Your Cash

It may seem obvious, but keep the cash register inaccessible to customers and monitored at all times.

If you observe  a crime in progress, call 911 or to report an incident after it occurred, call the VPD non-emergency number, (604) 717-3321.