Why should we worry about how to stop iPhone theft? In September 2018, 17 people were arrested and charged with stealing more than $1 million dollars in Apple consumer electronics devices. Organized groups of individuals targeted local stores and snatched a high volume of valuable products in a matter of seconds – a matter of seconds.
Prior to the arrests, iPhone thefts were already on the rise, occurring throughout California because of ineffective retail security. Such activities don’t take place in a vacuum. California’s Attorney General Xavier Beccera states that law enforcement today fears an uptick in copycat crimes as a result of the actions of this highly effective robbery ring.
Unfortunately, threats to retail security for high ticket products like iPhones and iPads are not limited to California. iPhone thefts are a growing problem across the United States and Europe. Retailers are losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in devices. These thefts also impact customer service when stores are missing demos or have devices locked away. Gone are the days where robberies were undertaken by opportunistic solo thieves or an unsophisticated teenager’s bad decision. Today, thefts consist of sophisticated rings of four to six individuals operating together to swarm stores to execute aggressive theft in plain sight of the highest value assets.
As retailers work to draw customers into brick and mortar stores by creating live demonstration experiences, Merchandisers and Asset Protection leaders must address retail security issues head on to prevent theft of flagship devices like the iPhone Xs and Samsung Galaxy S10 and Note 10s. Do you have anti-theft devices for your retail store? If your shop hasn’t been hit yet, it’s only a matter of time. If it has been hit, successful thieves will target you again. So how do you protect your devices and keep your employees safe?
The aesthetics of your store matter, but they shouldn’t come at the expense of your retail security. It’s essential that you balance the elegance and shopping ease of your space with maximum loss prevention strategies. Assess the design of your shop and keep retail security top of mind. Review the location of your flagship consumer electronics devices within your store. Is it easy to navigate from the front door to these high-theft-risk products and then quickly exit? Move the display closer to your cash wrap or employee areas. Are the displays visible completely from the cash wrap? Ensure sight lines to your highest value devices are not blocked.
Properly place and train your sales associates for loss prevention. It is a necessity for optimal retail security. Are your employees strategically placed in the store’s ideal sections to prevent the theft of your highest-ticket items? Are they engaging with each and every person that enters the store, particularly anyone approaching high value Apple and Samsung devices?
Be aware when two employees engage with one customer, or if one leaves the retail floor. Thieves are skilled at using distraction techniques. Train your staff to maintain awareness of their surroundings no matter the time of day or how crowded the store may be.
Most locations have CCTV in operation, and many thieves know this or do not care. However, thieves do prefer anonymity – so simple signage “this table is being monitored by CCTV” or “these demo devices have tracking software installed” are simple ways to deter theft.
As this CBS published security video shows, devices that are not secured by more than a power cord and small sensor allow the thieves to steal at a rapid rate, and make you a priority target. Thieves will target your flagship devices, and while protecting all merchandise is important, the organized rings are there for your $1,000 devices. Guarding against aggressive theft starts with protecting your Apple and Samsung devices. The more you slow down thieves, the more likely they are to pick a easier target, or cause enough of a distraction for your employees to approach someone tampering with a display.
Choose retail security products like the MTI XD Guardian D Series, that are built to withstand aggressive theft with tools, kicking, and violent removal attempts. Products that take a least 30 seconds to remove via any means will force crime rings to move on. If you stop iPhone theft once thieves will look for easier targets.
For more on retail security products and anti-theft device for retail stores to stop iPhone theft, check out the Apple high security solution, alarming power strip, and lock options available at mtigs.com.
Security matters – not just for your bottom line, but for the safety of your customers. Protecting your store is just as important to your business as making sales.
MTI has been a global leader in retail security services for more than 40 years. We offer premium security, merchandising, and retail IoT solutions that are proven with the world’s largest brands. Contact us today to ensure you have the right practices and anti-theft products to deter sophisticated iPhone thieves from targeting you.