C-store safety and security: Don't confront shoplifters

Why letting a person stealing leave the store is the best policy
store theft
Photograph: Shutterstock

As corporate risk and loss control manager at La Crosse, Wis.-based Kwik Trip, Stephanie Fox says her most pressing safety issue is keeping store employees safe and educating them to not apprehend shoplifters. Petty theft is the most common crime at Kwik Trip’s 800 stores, she says.

To prevent a theft from turning violent, Fox tells employees to let the person stealing leave the store. 

“We don’t want (store employees) apprehending any of our customers or having them have any kind of negative reaction with a customer, just because there’s so much that could go wrong in that situation,” Fox says. 

Kwik Trip coaches employees on how to react in these situations through in-person and online training. 

Some of Kwik Trip’s stores, typically the ones in more metro markets, have security guards. 
 “It’s been very successful in the places that we have implemented that,” Fox says, but it can be challenging to find insurance to cover those third-party workers. 




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