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Loss Prevention

Beating the Booster Bag

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A June 2011 U.S. Government Accountability Office report examining organized retail crime noted the many techniques professional thieves use to remove product from stores.

One such technique is the use of “booster bags” — bags that have been modified to help circumvent store security systems. The report noted evidence from retailers that booster bags — increasingly foil-lined to defeat anti-theft tag detection systems — are designed to conceal high value, smaller products.

As a means to foil booster bags used by theft rings, two security vendors have developed solutions that integrate two technologies to provide notification to store personnel when a booster bag enters a store or a high-value merchandise area.

Alert Systems and Indyme Solutions say booster bags often are disguised as shopping bags, purses or backpacks. Alert MetalGuard detects such bags at entry doors or other locations within the store, while Indyme Solutions’ wireless messaging gateway immediately notifies store personnel that a potential booster is entering the store.

Both companies say instant awareness is key to detecting the bags and mitigating potential theft, allowing the LP team to spring into action. “Through early awareness of incidents in the making, retailers are better equipped to proactively reduce shrink before it has the opportunity to happen,” says Indyme Solutions CEO Joe Budano.