How Criminals Use Profiling in Loss Prevention to Their Advantage

We are all guilty of it… Making snap judgments based on appearances. This of course happens in the private security industry too. In fact, many trained guards are instructed to look for certain tells. However, profiling in loss prevention can be used to guards.  


Let’s say we have two people enter the store at the same time, a teenage girl wearing an oversized coat and backpack and a middle-aged man in a nice suit. The girl makes her way to the accessory and jewelry section while the man goes straight to electronics, both high-theft sections. Who do you think the security guards will watch? 

Watching the Wrong One 

While the teen takes her time picking out what she wants and eventually goes to the register to pay, the middle-aged man was able to pack up a flatscreen and laptop and walk right out the door. This scenario happens too often in loss prevention.

When Criminals Team Up

This is an image of a woman holding shopping bags over her shoulder and walking away from the camera. This image is used in the BPS Security article titled, “How Criminals Use Profiling in Loss Prevention to Their Advantage.”

We will give you another example, but this time two people are working together. Two young male guards are working loss prevention in a store, when all the sudden a beautiful woman in a short skirt and heels walks in. The guards, distracted, don’t see the guy in a tee-shirt and jeans come in behind her. It’s a slow day, so the guards don’t think much of watching this woman carefully select items and put them into her cart for almost an hour.

Then suddenly, the girl leaves her full cart and walks out. What these loss prevention officers didn’t see was the guy in jeans and a tee exit the store with a full cart of stolen goods.  


As a private security guard, it’s important to know what to look for, but don’t get fooled. At BPS Security we’ve seen it all. With proper training and execution, our security guards protect people and property while providing a sense of peace to the community. We believe the guard must treat each of these duties with care and esteem, so you can be sure these tricks won’t work on one of us.

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