Friday, January 16, 2009

Aggressor Mindset: Gothamist Interviews a Shoplifter

Gothamist has an interesting interview with a shoplifter who primarily targets grocery stores. Security professionals will likely find some of the statements familiar:

Where do you usually hit? I have a few rotations with Whole Foods, one of the main targets because I’ve figured out the structure, the infrastructure of the place.

You’ve figured out the infrastructure? Correct. I call them blind spots, there are a lot of blind spots.

While the shoplifter's value per theft is relatively low - $50 on average, the frequency is disturbing - two or more times a week. These small thefts can bleed an organization quickly, and are a real concern for their store security.

The shoplifter also offers advice for aspiring shoplifters:

Do you have any advice for aspiring shoplifters? Yes. First, choose your locations carefully, number one. Don't start right away, go there several times, walk around, get to know the people who work there, especially the ones who don't dress in uniform. Number two, the most important: get to know the camera system. You don’t want to be directly under the camera, you don’t want to be in front of the camera, you want to find blind spots, this is my technical term. Beyond the corner or the bottom reach of the camera.

Number three, always have an exit strategy. Meaning put things in different places, in your pocket or under your pants. Don’t do it right away. First you take the item and walk with it for a little bit. Then when the moment is right and the inspiration is correct, you put it in there. And you don’t run away right away, you stay and shop in the store for awhile until the energy comes down and then you calmly walk out. But the bottom line is don’t rush, don’t rush.

These are very similar to the plans a physical security penetration tester would prepare - but in this case, the theft is real.

Creative Commons Image credit gemteck1

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