NEX Looks to Deter and Apprehend Shoplifters

From NEXCOM Public Affairs

According to the National Retail Federation and the University of Florida’s National Retail Security Survey, stealing by shoppers continues to cost merchants a staggering $14.6 billion per year and represents the second largest source of inventory shrink.

The Navy Exchange (NEX) is no different. During 2014, NEX Loss Prevention/Safety associates investigated and resolved 1,192 shoplifting cases. Of those cases, 26 percent were juveniles and 17 percent were active duty military. The merchandise departments that saw the most shoplifting investigations were computer hardware, computer peripherals, spirits, video games and video electronics.

“The NEX Loss Prevention/Safety teams located within our stores worldwide are very good at protecting our merchandise from shoplifters,” said Tom Ruane, Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) Corporate Loss Prevention/Safety Manager. “NEX Loss Prevention/Safety associates use many tools in an effort to apprehend shoplifters or prevent theft before it happens.”

NEXs worldwide use electronic article surveillance (EAS) systems for electronic and high value merchandise as well as extensive closed circuit surveillance systems (CCTV). The CCTV systems, coupled with digital video recorders and remote viewing technology, gives the NEX the ability to see everything within the store and identify incidents of theft.

“CCTV continues to be an extremely effective tool in theft detection,” said Ruane. “In 2014, 76 percent of our apprehensions were through the CCTV systems. However, we still need our customers and associates to be alert to possible theft and report any suspicious activity to the NEX management or the Loss Prevention/Safety Manager.”

If shoplifting is suspected, NEX Loss Prevention/Safety associates turn all incidents over to base police and /or local law enforcement. In addition to possible disciplinary action and criminal prosecution, the Federal Claims Collection Act allows NEX to enact a flat administrative cost or civil recovery of $200 for each incident of theft. “People involved in shoplifting get caught, prosecuted and possibly banned from the NEX and, in some cases, the base itself or end a military career,” said Ruane.

The mission of the NEX is to provide quality goods and services at a savings and to support Navy quality of life programs. Seventy percent of NEX profits go to support Navy quality of life programs while the remaining 30 percent is used to build or renovate existing stores. In fiscal year 2014, NEXCOM gave over $46 million to Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR).


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