Why Businesses Need Surveillance Cameras: Combat Employee Theft

Employee theft is one of the most pervasive problems faced by businesses today, and it continues to escalate at an estimated rate of 15 percent per year. This volume presents the first full-length guide to the alternatives available to companies seeking to reduce both the actual theft of tangible property and the profits lost through cheating on time cards and expense accounts.

Employee theft is very common. Some retail industry studies have found that more than one third of all thefts from businesses were by employees.

Theft by employees can only be as successful as operators allow conditions for it to happen. With so many obstacles outside in the marketplace, no one should have to lose to an enemy inside their own store. Thieving employees will have a devastating impact on your business and fellow employees if left unchecked.

Goods stolen by employee’s account for over 41% of inventory shrinkage, while only 35% was attributed to shoplifting (Mullen 1). A reason for this is because companies started to direct their attention to and have successfully reduced shoplifting. Employee theft is a hot potato right now. If the actress Winona Ryder dominated the headlines in 2002 during her shoplifting trial, we’ve had more than a decade of headlines on white collar crime and employee theft, from Enron to Martha Stewart.

Internal investigations of this nature are often difficult to handle. Employing the services of an outside firm that specializes in Forensic Accounting is the only way to guarantee a swift and thorough resolution to a very difficult problem. Internal theft, the most prevalent problem facing businesses today, is taking an all-time toll financially and emotionally. Department of Commerce estimates that employee theft costs employers approximately one billion a week.

Employee’s who steal from their employer is more prominent than most business owners realize. The average business loses approximately 6% of revenue to fraud each year, and typically employees are to blame. Employee theft is one of the serious threats that a restaurant owner has to accept. Each year, there is an estimate of over $52 billion loss because of this reason. Employee theft is often cited as the most common type of theft within small businesses.

Retail employees admit to steal an average of $168 a year. They estimate the average co-worker steals $1000 a year. Retail employee thieves were most unhappy with the inadequate tasks and challenges of their work and the fact that their employers seemed not to care about them. In the hospital, employees who took property were most unhappy about their employer’s lack of caring, in addition to poor treatment by immediate supervisors and limited job responsibility. Retail store employees have a constant opportunity to steal cash or merchandise and all they need is the desire and sufficient motivation to do so. What keeps most employees honest is moral character, loyalty, respect for the law and their employer, and the desire to be viewed as trustworthy.

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Business owners must be aware of these facts in order to detect employee theft. It is a common fact that most employers do not suspect their employees of theft. Business owners like to think that their employees are honest and care about the business almost as much as the owners do. Theft and dishonesty is only a problem for big business. Business owners who make frequent bank deposits substantially reduce their risk. If you handle a lot of cash, make deposits twice a day.

Employees can steal easily in many ways, with some examples being: not giving the customer a receipt and the correct change, giving back fictitious refunds, and pretending to ring up merchandise for friends. Prevention is key, but if you own a business and suspect that an employee is stealing from you, call the police. Employees steal for many reasons, and most explain it by rationalizing their actions, blaming the company for poor oversight or for providing easy opportunities to steal. Many blame management for setting a poor example.

Employees define what is right and wrong regarding their behavior, and they can rationalize stealing from their employer in their own minds. Thieves normally view themselves as average people in a dishonest world where everyone is just trying to get ahead or to maintain what they have. Employees responsible for accounting, bookkeeping and other financial functions should expect to be subject to a different, sometimes higher, level of oversight than their colleagues in other departments. They should welcome the additional scrutiny of your internal financial controls. Employees have to know and see that both doors are being taped with time and date.

Trusted, largely unsupervised employees can cook up elaborate schemes to steal and dispose of large quantities of equipment and merchandise for their own gain. Such crimes are easy to commit because the employees usually have company trucks at their disposal. Trust means something totally different because you have no choice but to empower your line-level employees with access to all of the financial tools necessary for your hotels to operate profitably. You therefore put a much higher premium on trust.

Secure company valuables such as portable phones and laptop computers. Removing “impulse” stealing situations can go a long way toward protecting you and your company. Security personnel don’t have to monitor tapes of endless video footage anymore, since the system can automatically recognize a crime, issue an alert and create a video catalog of it. It’s possible to track every single object as it moves through a building and be aware of who moved what and where using sophisticated surveillance cameras.

WiLife Indoor Video Surveillance Kit w/Free Remote Viewing One of the best and easiest set of 4 or six surveillance cameras is the WiLife Indoor Video Surveillance Kit w/Free Remote Viewing which you just Plug-in in minutes no wires needed! Your PC instantly becomes a command center with live monitoring, motion-based recording, Internet remote viewing and security alerts. At this link is an actual employee stealing money from her employer.

Here are just a few of the outstanding features of these surveillance cameras.

  • High-quality, color video (VGA or QVGA)
  • 400 MHz onboard processor 
  • Digital motion detection
  • Secure video transmission
  • Slim design
  • Better than wireless — just plug them in
  • Monitor 4 cameras simultaneously
  • Motion-based video recording
  • Powerful search and playback tools
  • Email and cell phone alerts
  • FREE Remote Internet ViewingYou can have to six connected to 1 system and if you need a hidden cameras to closely watch the cast registers, you can substitute one or more for a Hidden Camera if you like.
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