I have been running a small technology store for nearly 24 years. We sell all sorts of cool things like digital cameras, iPods, laptops, you name it. Naturally we have had to deal with our share of theft in the past, unfortunately I think that it is mainly employee theft. There has been no way for me to prove it since we only have one security camera which looks over the front door of the store. The camera runs on a 24 hour loop, so chances are that by the time I realize something is missing it is too late to look in to it anyways.
Unfortunately, these days I can not afford to be spending thousands of dollars on a security system, especially if it is employee theft I don’t know if it will actually make a difference anyways. So as I began to research how I could combat this issue in a budget friendly matter I came across a genius idea. If you can’t actually record them, at least make them think that you are recording them!
What I did was set up five fake security cameras throughout the store. I put three on the floor, one behind the register, and one in the back where employees hang out. This obviously made all the employees ask questions, but I just said it was for extra security. The dummy camera looked just like the real thing, if I didn’t know any better I would have thought it was real! One employee said that he knew it was a dummy security camera, but I just played it off like ‘try me’.
I set it up like I was monitoring the dummy security camera on a daily basis. It was a little strange at first pretending to watch video that wasn’t real, but I had to make everyone think that the dummy camera was real. I even told the employees that I was working with police to catch a thief that I caught on one of the fake security cameras!
Obviously I never actually caught anybody stealing anything, but the idea that there was extra security definitely made people think twice before robbing my store! My losses due to theft are down over 300% since the fake camera was introduced to the store. I cant believe how long it took me to think of this idea!
I recommend that anybody that can’t afford a real security system sets up a fake camera, not just at work, but also at your home to scare off intruders.