ERIE, Pa. -- Food Market here recently began posting digital images of shoplifters in action, enlisting the customer in the fight against shrink.
Food Market uses an 18-camera, digital video system from ADT Security Services, Boca Raton, Fla., to monitor the aisles. According to Dan Serafin, owner of the 12,000-square-foot independent, the decrease in theft since he began using "wanted" posters five months ago has been "tremendous."
In Serafin's estimation, his store stands to lose $20,000 a year to shoplifting. The security network from ADT costs $6,000, making for a possible return on investment in just over three months.
Serafin uses the digital frame-by-frame technology to isolate the moment of theft. He then prints this image and hangs it above the ATM machine for the public to see.
Serafin has successfully prosecuted several shoplifters due to information passed on by other shoppers.
"When the same name is given three or four times, you know you have the right person," he said.
Initially, Serafin was concerned about the defamation of character issue. But he makes sure that the image is a true and accurate representation of a crime being committed, careful to avoid conjecture. So far, he has not run into any legal problems.