Dear Mr. Guidry,
The police won’t really do that on a theft case, will they? After all, its only a theft charge!
Dear Potential Customer,
Yes, the police may end up doing that. Yes, that would be a waste of tax payer money, but that doesn’t stop them (ever). And, law enforcement sometimes surprises us with their good old fashioned police work. Bottom line is: don’t be surprised when the police use technology you only see on TV Shows.
So, for all you folks wondering just how hard the police are going to work at a petit theft case, or a shoplifting case, or a grand theft case — I have some (potentially) bad news for you. The advent of “new” technologies enables law enforcement to arrest more shoplifters at Kohl’s, Macys, Wal-Mart and Target than previously thought possible. What is this crazy “new tech” and why did I put it in air quotes? Unfortunately, we’re getting more shoplifting arrests due to cheap data storage. Hard drives, basically. I know, you’re disappointed because you thought we’d be discussing the laser-guided ear lobe analysis used on the latest iteration of Law & Order. Sorry.
Store surveillance video isn’t new, but what’s new is the fact that these stores can (and do) rewind months and months of footage to see if a recently caught shoplifter had stolen from the store previously. Back in the day of VCR’s, stores would write over their tapes within a day or two. Even five years ago, it was pretty expensive to keep a few days of footage, when you’re saving data from 30+ cameras recording 24/7. Today, hard drives are cheaper. They’re bigger. So, how does this impact a shoplifting case?
Well, it is “possible” that folks who get arrested for shoplifting may have stolen at that store before, and everything that’s happened in the store for the last four or five months in on a hard drive somewhere. Loss prevention will dig through old video surveillance to find out if the recent arrestee had prior theft shenanigans. If the old footage reveals the person stealing on previous visits (and they have, that’s why we’re talking about it), there’s going to be a new arrest for an old charge. Sure, we have ways of beating these petit theft allegations derived from old video footage, but who would have thought that cheap hard drives would lead to more shoplifting cases? Continue Reading