One evening two sales clerks were working in a retail store. A customer picked up some items, including
glass bottles. He headed for the cash register, but then suddenly ran to the exit. One sales clerk grabbed the
shoplifter and was dragged outside the store. The shoplifter swung a bottle at the sales clerk, who received a
cut requiring stitches.
Safe work practices
- Unless you are trained to intervene without risk to
yourself or your co-workers, do not try to physically
stop a shoplifter.
- Never lock the door to keep a shoplifter from leaving.
A person who feels trapped is more likely to panic and
- Remain at least an arm's length away from the shoplifter.
- Do not chase the shoplifter. It will only invite violence.
- Try to remember the shoplifter's height, weight, hair
and skin colour, features, clothing, and even their shoes.
- Immediately report the incident to your manager, security, or police.
- Set up and implement a theft prevention plan for your
business. Ensure the plan considers your hours of operation,
store layout, and employees who work alone.
- Train employees to follow safe procedures if they see
- Make your store unattractive to shoplifters. For example,
have good lighting and visibility throughout the store.
- People who steal do not like attention, so train employees to make eye contact and greet everyone who
enters the store.
For more information, see the publication Preventing Violence, Robbery, and Theft:
To order a print copy, contact the WorkSafeBC store at 604
232-9704 or toll-free at 1 866-319-9704.
View a slide show on preventing violence in retail stores: