G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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At Reuters, an attorney named Deanne Katz writes a 5 point list on how retailers can prevent flash mobs which she profiles by writing “In most cases, the perpetrators are teenagers.” So at least we know that Katz understands that profiling is a useful tool in thwarting these thefts. Her stopping point for such profiling is not fully known.
These tactics might work for lone thieves or small groups. Retail stores train their employees in “loss recovery” tactics. For example, if a thief ganks a red shirt the employee will ask them if they’d like some red earrings to match. The thief will usually put the merchandise back. But this is what a flash rob looks like. Tell me how many points on that list would have been effective against this wave of zombie looters.
The simplest solution is to advertise on the store front window that the store operates security cameras. Rooftop snipers are the next best bet.