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On November 26th, 2019

How to Use Your Shoplifting Surveillance Video Evidence


Installing a video surveillance system is a smart call when you’ve been dealing with ongoing retail shrinkage or other security issues. That’s because cameras work as both a shoplifting deterrent and a crucial tool for bringing your case to your local law enforcement professionals.

Ideally, the surveillance cameras themselves will be enough to make a change. But if a thief still decides to grab some items off the shelf (or if someone tries to break into your building), your video recordings will be important evidence. You just need to present it in the right way. That means organizing the details before your local law enforcement team arrives.

How to Organize Shoplifting Video Evidence

Video evidence is useful for any criminal case, and taking the time to prepare your own video evidence might be the best thing you can do to protect your company. In fact, it’s okay to hold off on calling law enforcement until after you get your entire case package pulled together. Even though it can seem like a delay, doing a little work upfront will actually help speed up the process overall. That’s why you’ll want to collect the following items:

  • CCTV surveillance video
  • Photos of key events (with captions)
  • Detailed list of recovered/stolen property
  • Written statements from everyone involved

The detective assigned to your case will need to know exactly what has gone missing. You can make their job easier by giving them the exact timestamps on the surveillance video. It’s also a good idea to make still shots with captions describing what’s happening. Collecting your own written statements will help their process too. Once you’ve passed these documents and files over, your next focus should be to maintain a good dialogue.

Communicating with Law Enforcement

Providing the right type of information for your shoplifting case helps your detective do their job efficiently. If you’re able to give them all of the key details right out of the gate, they may only need to prepare a narrative statement before sending it to the prosecutor. The less time that they have to invest, the better. Then your case can get the quality attention it deserves. Law enforcement shouldn’t have to rush through the steps if you’ve been able to help them along the way.

Teamwork between your company, associates, and law enforcement will increase the chances of the suspect getting appropriately charged. You don’t want your business having a reputation of being “easy to rob.” That’s why your careful communication is critical. Submitting written statements that are clear and easy to understand will help those charges go through sooner. Missing information just sets everyone back.

Better Prevention and Surveillance Video

Regular checks on how your surveillance system is installed can give you the confidence you need to run your company smoothly. But bad camera angles and poor video quality can be a real hindrance. After all, you’ll want to submit images of a suspect’s face—not the top of their baseball cap. If shoplifting does become a problem, you’ll be able to submit the right type of video evidence for your case.

Our team at Enhanced Telecommunications and Data is proud to work with business owners in all types of industries. Whether you need a security system for your retail location or reliable surveillance cameras for your building’s exterior, we can help you keep your property on close watch. The right video evidence will help keep your site and community safe. Let us give you the equipment you need. If you want to talk about your options, just call (208) 947-3900.

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