The Weekly Review: Episode 34 with Dr. Read Hayes, Tony D’Onofrio, and Tom Meehan

This podcast originally appears in the LPRC website.

Happy Thanksgiving! Did you know we cook 46 million turkeys each year? The most popular password option of 2020 was “123456”, which can be cracked in under a second. Our co-hosts discuss these facts and more on this week’s episode, including COVID-19 immunity, vaccine security and logistics, D&D Daily violent crime data, “drink and shop”, IoT trends, identity theft, fraud due to Coronavirus, and package theft.

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The Weekly Review: Episode 33 with Dr. Read Hayes, Tony D’Onofrio, and Tom Meehan

This podcast originally appears in the LPRC website.

Last week 74.1 billion dollars were generated from the 2020 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, rebranded from Single’s Day in China. Nike sees 15 million dollars in sales in minutes. COVID-19 vaccines in phase three trials. On this week’s episode, our co-hosts discuss these topics and more, including how Walmart continues to evolve overseas, CBS’s touch-free mobile pay, threats of overthrowing the government with a smartphone, and GPS tracking options on shipments.

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The 5 Secrets to Protecting Cash Deposits

According to the annual National Retail Security Survey, “Theft, fraud and losses from other retail “shrink” totaled $61.7 billion in 2019, up from $50.6 billion the year before as industry security executives reported increases in the number of shoplifting, organized retail crime and employee theft incidents.”  These drains on the bottom line can take a big chunk out of profits.

By their very nature, retail operations present numerous opportunities for employees to steal. Investigators can be faced with a myriad of factors that must be scrutinized and evaluated when looking at cases of suspected theft, including employees with sticky fingers who are trusted to deliver cash deposits to banks. Removing a few tens or twenties can be easy and go unnoticed. But there are others in the loop (armored-car drivers, bank employees, etc.) who also handle large sums of cash. The FBI uncovered $600,000 from a backyard in a California neighborhood. It seems two armored-truck drivers helped themselves to money being transferred from a bank vault. In another case a bank employee helped herself to cash that a local business had dropped off in a night deposit box.

Protecting Cash Made Simple

Some fixes to deter employee or customer theft can be quite extensive and technologically advanced, requiring extensive training, expensive equipment, and tons of resources.

Other ways to combat missing cash are easy to implement, such as having the relevant and necessary supplies for managing cash transactions. One simple deterrent to cash theft is engaging in the proper handling and transferring of cash.

5 Guidelines to Help Protect Collected, Transferred, & Deposited Cash:

  1. Follow best practices for hiring and training employees. Develop an anti-theft plan to include situation assessment and delineation of consequences. Be sure all employees handling money at any stage in the customer-to-bank deposit transaction period understand their responsibilities to the company. Trained security personnel must be constantly on the alert for possible theft and company investigators should be schooled in proper interviewing and reporting techniques for theft cases.
  2. Using a 2-person check, or dual sign-off, for cash transfers will deter individuals from considering stealing some of the money in their care. Also referred to as “separation of function”, this includes requiring one person to count the cash while another person verifies the amount and completes the deposit slip, or having one person seal or lock the money bag while another person verifies the seal or retains possession of the key.
  3. Install video cameras in the areas where cash is stored or transferred. Cameras can provide hard evidence in a theft case but more importantly, they are a deterrent to preventing thefts from occurring.
  4. Check your accounts in a timely manner. Make sure all deposits show up in your bank statement. Monitor all bookkeeping records. Engage in periodic, unannounced, unscheduled auditing of bank accounts.
  5. Utilize proper cash deposit bags. Currency bags should safely store money and protect it from theft as it changes hands. There are locking bags or tamper-evident currency bags, all with mid-level and maximum level security options. This added security level makes thieves think twice before reaching into a sealed money bag.

Proven Cash Protection Solutions

At CONTROLTEK, we understand that theft is not always perpetrated by store employees. There are many cases where the theft occurs after the cash has left the hands of the employee. We help ensure your cash is protected from armored car drivers and bank employees as well!
The CONTROLTEK SafeLok bag incorporates our “press2Lok” seal technology, utilizing a high security void tape with an in-line closure. This void tape is specially formulated to display void evidence when subjected to heat, cold, or chemicals.
Typically used for deposits, this bag comes in a large array of sizes and styles including internal and external pockets for checks and deposit slips. High performance films and side seams meet all Federal Reserve guidelines. The high-definition void graphics on this “easy to seal” bag make it a deterrent against theft as well as a favorite for high volume cash users.
To help prevent cash loss, contact CONTROLTEK today.

[This article has been updated to reflect the 2020 National Retail Security Survey]

The Weekly Review: Episode 32 with Dr. Read Hayes, Tony D’Onofrio, and Tom Meehan

This podcast originally appears in the LPRC website.

Singles’ Day in China was created by college students in spite of Valentine’s day to buy gifts for themselves. Now the largest shopping day in the world, learn how U.S. retailers are trying to adopt this atypical holiday, and how it can increase online fraud. On this week’s episode, our co-hosts discuss this and more, including COVID-19 testing updates, consumer behavior changes due to the pandemic, the election affecting buyers, potential net negative gains, protection from anarchy, holiday season shopping prediction trends, the need for brick and mortar stores, and the origins of the word “quarantine”.

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The Weekly Review: Episode 31 with Dr. Read Hayes, Tony D’Onofrio, Tom Meehan and Featured Guest Richard Long (3SI)

This podcast originally appears in the LPRC website.

On this week’s special episode, we welcome Richard Long, 3SI Senior Vice President & Director of Global Law Enforcement, to discuss Election Day and much more with our co-hosts – including law enforcement planning leading up to the results, community policing, LPRC’s virtual SOC, election misinformation, the global retail data, and emerging technologies.

Richard Long is the global director of the Law Enforcement Division managing the police and FBI implementation and utilization of 3SI robbery-arrest / clandestine tracking GPS/RF technologies. He directs managers and regional coordinators throughout North America, Europe, South/Central America, and Australia who are responsible for recruitment, implementation, training, and liaison between 3SI and all government partners. He also directs 3SI’s liaison with all major law enforcement agencies at the state, federal, and international level. Currently over 8,600 police agencies and all 56 FBI Field Offices are approved for 3SI crime-fighting technologies. As an ASIS International CPP credentialed member, Richard is Board Certified in Security Management.

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How Elections and Retailers Can Be Impacted When Civil Unrest Turns Violent

This article originally appeared in Loss Prevention Magazine.

It’s not news that 2020 has been a chaotic year. From the global COVID-19 pandemic beginning in March to the protests across the country in response to the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis at the end of May, it seems impossible to predict what might happen next. But as we’ve seen so many times in the past, history often repeats itself. And this isn’t the first time that widespread civil unrest has taken hold of our country—with long-lasting results.

With 2020 being an election year, many political experts and media outlets have been hyperfocused on how these atypical current events will affect the presidential election this November. However, the United States was in a similar situation only half a century ago, during the year of the 1968 presidential election.

Unlike what we’ve seen in the protests against racism and police brutality this year, the protests in 1968 were far more violent and widespread. As civil unrest descended into chaos and violence, the political response focused on the idea of “law and order,” previously limited to more regional politics in the Deep South, making criminal justice an essential policy platform on a national scale. The Republican presidential nominee based his campaign on law and order, leading to a wave of repressive criminal-justice policies that affected politics for decades after the 1968 election. This newly introduced policy platform pressured politicians of both parties to feature law and order in their campaigns in order to be elected.

The Link Between Riots and Elections

Political experts have found that when civil unrest devolves into chaos and violence, it generates the wrong kind of attention and provokes a hostile response, as seen when Nixon based both his campaign and his presidency on his law and order stance. These experts have also uncovered the direct link between public awareness of race-related civil unrest and violence (such as riots and looting) and a decline in the Democratic vote share in both 1968 and 1972.

Many political observers expect that President Donald Trump will heavily feature law and order in his campaign for reelection. The president already got started with a tweet in May, along with his use of the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” which originated with third-party conservative and 1968 presidential candidate George Wallace.

A political scientist from George Mason University said to the Washington Post, “One of the things that I think a lot of people don’t realize is that urban rioting in American history has almost always helped conservative forces.” With the resurgence of law and order in political discussions, I think this year will continue to have some surprises in store for us.

What Does This All Mean for Retailers?

Something else that isn’t news: the retail industry has taken a huge blow during the coronavirus pandemic. Many retailers have not been deemed essential businesses, so they had to close operations for at least a couple of months starting in March as the United States instituted measures to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Early in the pandemic, the National Retail Federation (NRF) found that more than nine in ten customers changed their shopping habits in response to the pandemic, and more than half of customers chose to shop online for products they would normally buy in store. Though retail has had to adapt to other industry changes, like the shift to online retail and greater digitization, there isn’t a precedent to guide how we can adapt our businesses to the changes brought on by a pandemic.

With the protests that began in late May, retailers faced another issue that impacted them more than other industries. Civil unrest—such as riots and looting where destruction of property is the main result—heavily impacts retailers of all sizes. As retailers closed locations or boarded up their stores to protect their businesses from the violence, major retailers like Target, Walmart, and Nordstrom conveyed their support for the movement, rather than outright condemning the damage to their businesses.

The NRF addressed looting in a statement in early June, focusing on the history of racial injustice in America and supporting peaceful protests while also decrying the negative impact of “the actions of a few.”

Though major retailers have largely been supportive of the protests, they often aren’t the ones who suffer the worst consequences when civil unrest becomes violent. If smaller retail stores are damaged by riots or have merchandise stolen by looters, their entire businesses could be compromised. Though many business owners have insurance, the money they receive from their insurance companies might not be enough to repair all the damages, let alone help them recoup from sales lost when they had to stop operations to protect their employees’ safety and repair any damages.

As we’ve seen this year, small businesses have also been hit the worst by COVID-19. In a study published in July, researchers found that over 40 percent of small businesses have temporarily closed because of COVID-19, and overall employment by small businesses has declined by 39 percent since January.

As we are approaching the end of 2020, I believe there are going to be a lot of changes, not only within the retail industry but also in the political world. The digital transformation will continue to accelerate at a rapid pace. Retail has met and overcome many obstacles in recent decades, and I’m confident that we will continue to see that resilience in the future.

Tom’s column is featured in every issue of Loss Prevention Magazine. To subscribe to the printed version of the magazine and enjoy other great content, visit