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3VR’s case management tool enables employees to flag known shoplifters and potential fraudsters
The store installed a 3VR P-Series with 3VR VIP analytics for facial surveillance and license plate recognition

Customer

Canadian Tire is one of Canada’s most-shopped general merchandise retailers with 479 stores across the country serving over 180 million customers a year. Canadian Tire Toronto has over 76,000 square feet of retail, home and garden, and automotive service space offering a wide variety of products and services.

Challenge

Against a complex and growing backdrop of organized retail crime (ORC), Canadian Tire strives to balance superior customer service with maintaining store policies and procedures to protect its customers, employees, merchandise, and revenue. In addition to general shoplifting, the store experiences a wide variety of theft and fraud attempts on a daily basis including returns desk fraud, fraudulent UPC reproduction, and unauthorized access to car repair services.

In a bustling retail environment, store staff and management try to focus on customer service, which sometimes means that store policies and safeguards are not followed as closely as possible. With a large inventory of high priced items, management was particularly concerned with ensuring that only authorized managers obtained access to the secured inventory area known as the “lock-up.” Additionally, the store operates a 24 bay automotive service station. It is incredibly important from a liability and cost perspective that only vehicles with valid service orders are admitted to the service station.

Because most Canadian Tire stores have similar layouts and point of sale systems, when an ORC group finds a way to exploit one store location, they quickly move to other locations using the same technique to defraud yet more stores.

While the store’s previous video surveillance system was adequate at recording and storing video, performing a simple search required multiple steps. This meant that only one or two staff members were adept at using the system and could carry out an investigation. Further, there was no way to flag persons of interest so that store staff could be alerted when a known shoplifter or criminal entered the premises. Store management relied on intuition and memory to recognize and address repeat criminals, which left them highly susceptible to the well planned and executed attacks of ORC rings.

Toronto Store Owner, Kerry Leroux, wanted to implement a video surveillance system that would enable the store to better address ORC as well as improve the day-to-day management of store policies. With dual goals of limiting loss and improving store operations, Leroux consulted Canadian security integrator Loss Prevention Services.

3VR Solution

Loss Prevention Services presented a unified solution that combined the installation of 3VR’s Video Intelligence Platform (VIP) with the implementation of monitoring and investigative services from Loss Prevention’s trained staff of security professionals.

The store installed a 3VR P-Series with 3VR VIP Analytics for Facial Surveillance and License Plate Recognition. Using footage from cameras installed at the store entrances, service center, garden center, and customer service desk, the 3VR VIP tracks events as they happen and displays them in a simple to monitor visual format. 3VR’s powerful search technology also gives staff the ability to rapidly search video footage and respond to events as they happen.

“We can search video more than twice as fast as we used to,” said Leroux. “Before we would have a stack of papers with the last 50 arrests sitting on a desk. Now we can go to the 3VR [VIP] and pull them up.”

Powerful Deterrent

“We can search video more than twice as fast as we used to.”

Because of the size of the store and the number of store locations with similar layouts, Canadian Tire was looking for a solution to their ongoing problem with repeat offenders. Once criminals find a weakness in store security and are able to take advantage of it, they often brazenly return to the store to steal again, or try the same tactic at a different location (often successfully). With the 3VR case management tool, employees are able to flag known shoplifters and potential fraudsters so that when they enter the store, security can be alerted.

In one instance, a customer service agent thought he recognized a customer trying to return a product; he alerted security staff who were able to quickly pull up recent surveillance footage and identify the customer as part of a two-person team who had been in the store earlier and were attempting to return an item fraudulently.

The ability to quickly search through surveillance footage and have high-quality images allows staff to not only put together investigations quickly and build solid cases for prosecution, but also allows management to use the tools as a deterrent. By showing shoplifters how easily and accurately they can be identified, management can make it clear that the store can very easily identify and prosecute them if they try to steal from the store again. “We average catching 3-5 thieves, per week,” said Leroux. “When we interrogate someone, we show them video footage of their crime. Then we show them how we create an alert that will tell us if they enter the store again. Once we do that, we know they aren’t going to risk returning to our location.”

Moving forward, Leroux is excited about the prospect of leveraging the 3VR and Loss Prevention Services solution across more Canadian Tire locations so that the stores can collaborate and send alerts to each other to help reduce ORC and other forms of fraud that hinder business.

Maintain Store Policies

In a hectic retail environment, maintaining the balance between providing high-quality customer service and ensuring that store policies and procedures are followed can be difficult. While Canadian Tire strives to provide its customers with the best customer service possible, staff do not consistently follow store policies designed to protect their large inventory of high-priced merchandise.

Although the store has a secure “lock-up” that only managers are allowed to access, they often lend their key to a non-manager. It had been difficult to enforce this policy until the installation of the 3VR system. With 3VR, Leroux can quickly monitor footage of who enters the lock-up using motion and facial surveillance to ensure only authorized staff access the area.

“Our staff always put the customer first,” said Leroux. “But we still have to follow procedures. 3VR keeps us honest and ensures we don’t cut corners.”

The store also uses 3VR to track cars that come in to the service station to ensure that each vehicle has a service order assigned to it. If a car enters the service station without an order, not only is the store liable for the vehicle, but the store could potentially lose money on work being completed without payment.

“With 24 service bays and more than 20 staff at work, I need tools to help me ensure that store policies are being followed,” said Leroux. “With License Plate Recognition I can review all the cars that enter the service station and ensure each car has a valid service ticket.”

Using Intelligent Technology to Make Business Smarter

“We know we’ve only begun to take advantage of what the 3VR has to offer,” said Leroux”

Canadian Tire understands that no single tool can eradicate shoplifting and ORC, but with cutting edge advanced video analytics like facial surveillance and license plate recognition from 3VR, combined with proactive and forensic monitoring services from Loss Prevention, this solution promises tremendous reduction in fraud and theft without the hefty price tag of other complex loss prevention solutions.

“Loss Prevention offers many valuable tools that we can use to protect our store,” said Leroux. “When a problem is detected, Loss Prevention has services available to find out how it was done, and not only bring the people to justice, and also to help us modify our practices so that it doesn’t happen again. And with their effective interrogation techniques, they ensure that the store is protected with conducting sensitive investigations.”

The Future

Leroux knows that once an ORC ring discovers how to exploit a weakness at a particular Cana-dian Tire location, it is highly likely that they will successfully carry out the same scam at other locations.

“The key to using 3VR to stop ORC is get all the Canadian Tire stores on the same platform,” said Leroux. “Then we can set up alerts at one store and know that if that same person tries to hit another location, they will get caught.”

With a collaborative effort, the stores can work together to be one step ahead of the criminals.

Using 3VR’s open platform for integration, Leroux also wants to connect his 3VR to his Canadian Tire point of sale (POS) system. This would allow him to run reports based on exceptions like voids, returns, and no sale transactions to audit for any suspicious behavior.

“We know we’ve only begun to take advantage of what the 3VR has to offer,” said Leroux. “We expect to see a very short return on investment because it is so simple to implement and use 3VR’s advanced tools.”

Customer

Canadian Tire is one of Canada’s most-shopped general merchandise retailers with 479 stores across the country serving over 180 million customers a year. Canadian Tire Toronto has over 76,000 square feet of retail, home and garden, and automotive service space offering a wide variety of products and services.

Challenge

Against a complex and growing backdrop of organized retail crime (ORC), Canadian Tire strives to balance superior customer service with maintaining store policies and procedures to protect its customers, employees, merchandise, and revenue. In addition to general shoplifting, the store experiences a wide variety of theft and fraud attempts on a daily basis including returns desk fraud, fraudulent UPC reproduction, and unauthorized access to car repair services.

In a bustling retail environment, store staff and management try to focus on customer service, which sometimes means that store policies and safeguards are not followed as closely as possible. With a large inventory of high priced items, management was particularly concerned with ensuring that only authorized managers obtained access to the secured inventory area known as the “lock-up.” Additionally, the store operates a 24 bay automotive service station. It is incredibly important from a liability and cost perspective that only vehicles with valid service orders are admitted to the service station.

Because most Canadian Tire stores have similar layouts and point of sale systems, when an ORC group finds a way to exploit one store location, they quickly move to other locations using the same technique to defraud yet more stores.

While the store’s previous video surveillance system was adequate at recording and storing video, performing a simple search required multiple steps. This meant that only one or two staff members were adept at using the system and could carry out an investigation. Further, there was no way to flag persons of interest so that store staff could be alerted when a known shoplifter or criminal entered the premises. Store management relied on intuition and memory to recognize and address repeat criminals, which left them highly susceptible to the well planned and executed attacks of ORC rings.

Toronto Store Owner, Kerry Leroux, wanted to implement a video surveillance system that would enable the store to better address ORC as well as improve the day-to-day management of store policies. With dual goals of limiting loss and improving store operations, Leroux consulted Canadian security integrator Loss Prevention Services.

3VR Solution

Loss Prevention Services presented a unified solution that combined the installation of 3VR’s Video Intelligence Platform (VIP) with the implementation of monitoring and investigative services from Loss Prevention’s trained staff of security professionals.

The store installed a 3VR P-Series with 3VR VIP Analytics for Facial Surveillance and License Plate Recognition. Using footage from cameras installed at the store entrances, service center, garden center, and customer service desk, the 3VR VIP tracks events as they happen and displays them in a simple to monitor visual format. 3VR’s powerful search technology also gives staff the ability to rapidly search video footage and respond to events as they happen.

“We can search video more than twice as fast as we used to,” said Leroux. “Before we would have a stack of papers with the last 50 arrests sitting on a desk. Now we can go to the 3VR [VIP] and pull them up.”

Powerful Deterrent

“We can search video more than twice as fast as we used to.”

Because of the size of the store and the number of store locations with similar layouts, Canadian Tire was looking for a solution to their ongoing problem with repeat offenders. Once criminals find a weakness in store security and are able to take advantage of it, they often brazenly return to the store to steal again, or try the same tactic at a different location (often successfully). With the 3VR case management tool, employees are able to flag known shoplifters and potential fraudsters so that when they enter the store, security can be alerted.

In one instance, a customer service agent thought he recognized a customer trying to return a product; he alerted security staff who were able to quickly pull up recent surveillance footage and identify the customer as part of a two-person team who had been in the store earlier and were attempting to return an item fraudulently.

The ability to quickly search through surveillance footage and have high-quality images allows staff to not only put together investigations quickly and build solid cases for prosecution, but also allows management to use the tools as a deterrent. By showing shoplifters how easily and accurately they can be identified, management can make it clear that the store can very easily identify and prosecute them if they try to steal from the store again. “We average catching 3-5 thieves, per week,” said Leroux. “When we interrogate someone, we show them video footage of their crime. Then we show them how we create an alert that will tell us if they enter the store again. Once we do that, we know they aren’t going to risk returning to our location.”

Moving forward, Leroux is excited about the prospect of leveraging the 3VR and Loss Prevention Services solution across more Canadian Tire locations so that the stores can collaborate and send alerts to each other to help reduce ORC and other forms of fraud that hinder business.

Maintain Store Policies

In a hectic retail environment, maintaining the balance between providing high-quality customer service and ensuring that store policies and procedures are followed can be difficult. While Canadian Tire strives to provide its customers with the best customer service possible, staff do not consistently follow store policies designed to protect their large inventory of high-priced merchandise.

Although the store has a secure “lock-up” that only managers are allowed to access, they often lend their key to a non-manager. It had been difficult to enforce this policy until the installation of the 3VR system. With 3VR, Leroux can quickly monitor footage of who enters the lock-up using motion and facial surveillance to ensure only authorized staff access the area.

“Our staff always put the customer first,” said Leroux. “But we still have to follow procedures. 3VR keeps us honest and ensures we don’t cut corners.”

The store also uses 3VR to track cars that come in to the service station to ensure that each vehicle has a service order assigned to it. If a car enters the service station without an order, not only is the store liable for the vehicle, but the store could potentially lose money on work being completed without payment.

“With 24 service bays and more than 20 staff at work, I need tools to help me ensure that store policies are being followed,” said Leroux. “With License Plate Recognition I can review all the cars that enter the service station and ensure each car has a valid service ticket.”

Using Intelligent Technology to Make Business Smarter

Canadian Tire understands that no single tool can eradicate shoplifting and ORC, but with cutting edge advanced video analytics like facial surveillance and license plate recognition from 3VR, combined with proactive and forensic monitoring services from Loss Prevention, this solution promises tremendous reduction in fraud and theft without the hefty price tag of other complex loss prevention solutions.

“Loss Prevention offers many valuable tools that we can use to protect our store,” said Leroux. “When a problem is detected, Loss Prevention has services available to find out how it was done, and not only bring the people to justice, and also to help us modify our practices so that it doesn’t happen again. And with their effective interrogation techniques, they ensure that the store is protected with conducting sensitive investigations.”

The Future

Leroux knows that once an ORC ring discovers how to exploit a weakness at a particular Canadian Tire location, it is highly likely that they will successfully carry out the same scam at other locations.

“The key to using 3VR to stop ORC is get all the Canadian Tire stores on the same platform,” said Leroux. “Then we can set up alerts at one store and know that if that same person tries to hit another location, they will get caught.”

With a collaborative effort, the stores can work together to be one step ahead of the criminals.

Using 3VR’s open platform for integration, Leroux also wants to connect his 3VR to his Canadian Tire point of sale (POS) system. This would allow him to run reports based on exceptions like voids, returns, and no sale transactions to audit for any suspicious behavior.

“We know we’ve only begun to take advantage of what the 3VR has to offer,” said Leroux. “We expect to see a very short return on investment because it is so simple to implement and use 3VR’s advanced tools.”

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