Suspect Signs Of Employee Theft? What Is Your Next Step?

Maybe you have seen it before and never gave it much thought, you walked by a cash register and saw a gift card lying next to it. A customer probably just changed their mind, right? Perhaps you saw your salesfloor person wearing a heavy jacket while working but you just attributed it to them being cold all the time. You may notice cash shortages periodically but they are under $10 and some people get busy and make little mistakes, it happens. Then there is the cashier that seems to be really interested in the store and always reports suspicious people he sees. He even asks managers if there might be security camera footage that could be reviewed to see the “suspect” in case they return. There is the saleswoman who finds a lot of empty packages on the floor and reports them to the manager and where she found them so managers would know about theft taking place in the store. These each seem like harmless issues on the surface but could there be something more nefarious going on under your nose? Is something starting to seem a bit curious after all? If you are suspecting something dishonest may be going on in your store what is your next step?

     You may be thinking this would be the time to call the police and report your suspicions. Hold your horses, what are you reporting, a gift card tucked next to a register? A couple of low dollar cash shortages? You won’t get very far with the police and they certainly aren’t going to do any investigation for you. The appropriate step is to contact Bill Bregar at Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. He will walk you through the next stages of what you need to do to look into this further. Sure you are busy and have a million things to do each day but if you suspect theft is taking place something has to be done before it gets out of hand. Then again maybe there is another way to tackle this. Yes, Bill will be happy to talk to you and discuss your case but it might be in your best interest to let Bill conduct the investigation for you.

     Why hire Bill to do the investigation for you? Well for starters Bill served in the U.S. Army as a Military Policeman, a Military Intelligence Officer and he was a police officer.  He is no stranger to conducting investigations. He is a trained and licensed private investigator, skills that are well suited to a successful retail investigation. Bill has also been a Retail Loss Prevention Director at the national level which makes him uniquely qualified to conduct store-level dishonest employee investigations. Who better to have on your side as a detective unless you could hire Sherlock Holmes and I hear he is currently unavailable?

      Are there other signals you might be overlooking that may indicate dishonest activity other than those touched upon earlier? Do you know where to begin looking? Do you know how to look for indications of employee’s conducting fraudulent refunds? What are the signals of sweetheart deals taking place under your nose? You can have an inkling that theft is happening in your store but if you know what signals to look for you can be sure when it takes place. The critical piece to getting your merchandise and/or cash back and restitution is a successful investigation. Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. has training seminars and workshops that can educate you on how employee theft takes place, signs to look for and how you can prevent it. When it does take place you will know what is going on and can call on Bill to be your personal gumshoe.

     Investigating employee theft is no game. Private investigators are a dime a dozen but finding a reputable company that is experienced in retail theft investigations is a more difficult task. Hiring an investigator with the background Bill has may seem to be an unattainable goal. Fortunately for the small and medium-sized retailers searching for a sleuth is simplified with a single stop at Loss Preventions Systems, Inc. Theft is probably happening in your store, the question is, what are you going to do about it?

Who Is Your Typical Shoplifter?

Shoplifting is a crime.  Stealing merchandise and walking out the door is a crime millions of people are doing every year.

It  costs the retail industry billions of dollars yearly, as well as the communities where these incidents occur.  Tax income that is not collected from the stolen merchandise leaves communities and many social programs unfunded and in some instances cut out altogether.

The National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) states that there is no profile of a typical shoplifter. Women and men shoplift as equally and often.

The following news stories will give you  a glance at the shoplifters for this month.  Shoplifters come from all walks of life. Profiling a person because of preconceived notions of what a shoplifter is supposed to be, is not only illegal but wrong.

Click on the links below to read more about shoplifting.

Husky Caught on Surveillance Shoplifting a Loaf of Bread, Then Returning With an Accomplice

Get your paws off the merchandise!

A Siberian husky was caught on security footage shoplifting a loaf of bread from a Dollar General store in California.

Although a store worker tried to stop the furry bandit before she escaped out the automated doors, “the suspect was able to avoid apprehension and escaped on all fours,” according to the Shafter Police Department, which released surveillance on their Facebook page following the event last week.

Police officer resigns after allegedly shoplifting by stuffing meat in his pants

DES PERES, Mo. ( –

A St. John police sergeant is off of the force after police arrested him for shoplifting hamburger meat at a Des Peres grocery store.

On April 21, Des Peres police say Sgt. Matthew Barthelmass walked up to the meat counter at the Dierbergs on Manchester Road. The security guard followed him, and saw him walk to the cooking supply aisle and “conceal the product inside of his waistband. He had a larger Cardinals pullover on and could not see a bulge,” read the report.

The report goes on to say Barthelmass paid for items inside of his cart, but not the meat in his pants.

He was confronted by the security guard when he was leaving.

“I asked the subject to remove the meat from his pants. He explained to me that he was a police officer for St. John Police Department,” said the report.

St. John Police Chief J.R. Morris says Barthelmass has been with the department for 10 years.


CULLMAN – A local doctor was arrested for shoplifting recently, according to reports from the Cullman Police Department. Mir Kwon Wu Varquez, 59, was arrested on May 10 and charged with fourth-degree theft of property/shoplifting, a Class A misdemeanor.

Police Chief Kenny Culpepper says the incident occurred at the Wal-Mart store on Highway 157.

Varquez is a cardiologist at Cullman Heart & Urgent Care, P.C.

According to Alabama Code, Section 13A-8-5, theft of property in the fourth degree is applicable when the theft does not exceed $500.