combat an increase in mobile phone gangs
Last night’s new story on A Current Affair highlights the increasing challenges mobile phone retailers face when it comes to protecting their staff, their customers and their products in the face of targeted mobile device theft, according to loss prevention specialist Vitag.
Aired on April 15, the story showed CCTV vision from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne telco stores where gangs of youths brazenly walked in and ripped mobile phones from displays.
The incidents occurred in broad daylight and in some cases saw staff and customers caught up in the frightening attacks. Meanwhile, A Current Affair noted seven of these incidents had been recorded in the past month alone, and in response retail outlets were beginning to remove high-value items from display.
“It’s the worst I’ve seen in 14 years,” one telco employee told the program. “They’re coming in, they’re ripping benches off, they’re ripping phones off, the customers are getting involved, trying to stop people and these gangs don’t care.”
Loss prevention product retailer Vitag specialises in secure displays for stores, including telco and electronics outlets.
Managing director Greg Raubenheimer also noted phone retailers were being targeted more often as thieves sought to cash in on the high value of new devices, but he said there were other avenues available to store management, rather than simply removing items from display.
“The challenge for retailers is to tread the line between the customer experience and the threat of theft,” Mr Raubenheimer said. “And this involves employing the latest cutting-edge secure displays to deter gangs from targeting a location.”
Unlike previous display systems, new options such as OnePODare specifically designed to enhance mobile phone security in-store and include increased security features like steel stands, thicker clamps, and high-security alarms.
When coupled with additional security measures like bolting down display tables, they work to offer a visible deterrent to thieves, while being strong enough to prevent a snatch and grab attempt.
“In a competitive omnichannel environment, retailers have enough on their plate without being forced to remove some of their best-selling products from the showroom floor,” Mr Raubenheimer said.
“State of the art display systems help overcome the threat of thefts like those seen on A Current Affair while also catering to the all-important customer experience.”
Meanwhile, he noted further measures retailers could embrace to reduce the likelihood of being targeted included:
· Obvious CCTV
· Loss Prevention officers in-store
· Staff training
· Securing extra stock in lockable cabinets