GPS Tracking may Stop Shoplifters

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By Greg Bartlett

We all know that shoplifting is a crime. Theft is one of the main reasons why stores have to raise prices. They have to cover their shrinkage in order to make any profit. Many stores have resorted to electronic sensors that sound an alarm at the door if someone attempts to leave the premises without paying. Even so, a large number of items are still stolen from stores all across the country on a daily basis.

If the item is of substantial value, a television or home computer for instance, companies could start including a GPS asset tracking device inside the packaging. Then, if an item gets outside the store without being paid for, the device can be activated as soon as store personnel realize the theft and the merchandise has a much better chance of being recovered. Anyone caught with such merchandise in his/her possession would have to produce documentation of purchase, such as a sales receipt, to avoid being arrested and charged with theft of property.

With most stores tracking such high end merchandise from the time it enters the store to the time it is sold by using the serial number on the item’s packaging makes the odds of sending out a false alarm close to almost nil. Once that item is rung up at the cash register, that serial number is taken out of inventory. Then if the GPS signal is activated by the item leaving the store, a computer comparison can be quickly performed to verify that the item has indeed been purchased and removed from inventory. The person responsible for monitoring these GPS signals can then deactivate that device.

The only thing that would be required that is not in place already would be for the manufacturers of such products to start incorporating a GPS tracker inside the packaging with the item. Each device should have a unique signature and be matched to an item with a specific serial number. This system would not be very difficult to implement, and would cut down on the number of thefts of high end merchandise that manage to get out of the store despite electronic sensors applied at the store to trigger an alarm at the door.

A GPS anti theft device could be implemented in this case to both act as a deterrent and a method of catching shoplifters and reducing the losses incurred by retail stores from theft.

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