Camera for thieves detection in shops. Is it myth or reality?

Camera for thieves detection in shops. Is it myth or Reality?

       Theft by buyers accounts for at least 33% of total retail losses. Having researched the causes of shoplifting in 100 countries worldwide, British scientists found a relationship between the number of acts of theft and punishment in the country. Accordingly, the stricter the legislation is, the fewer people steal. How to deal with theft directly in stores? Is there such a smart video monitoring system or a particular video camera that would recognize thieves before committing a crime? Let’s figure it out.

The global problem of theft

       Shoplifting is an international phenomenon. Everybody steals: women and men, rich and poor, amateurs and professionals.

      According to a UNESCO study, taking goods out of a store without paying, the so-called “shoplifting”, has become the most common offence globally. Statistics have been collected over the past three decades.

      American studies say the following: every 5 seconds, there is one shoplifting in the world.

       The leaders in shoplifting are the Germans. According to statistics, every 133rd inhabitant of Germany steals from shops. Americans rank second in the world for shoplifting (every 201st). Residents of Austria earned bronze in this rating. Every 361st resident of the country steals there.

      There is no statistical data for the Russian Federation; it is known that supermarkets’ total losses make up a record 3% of turnover. To compensate for losses, most large retail stores add 5% to the price of each product. Thus, respectable citizens and thieves who make everyday purchases pay for the losses with interest.

Methods for dealing with shoplifting

      How to recognize a thief question is puzzling to all representatives of the retail trade.

      Electronic anti-theft systems can consist of a set of various technical elements:

  • sensors, including hard ones;
  • gate at the entrance/exit from the store;
  • antennas in the inter-checkout space;
  • deactivators for incineration of security labels and/or sensors;
  • special devices for removing reusable rigid sensors when paying for goods at the checkout;
  • other devices, the principle of which is the reception and transmission of electromagnetic waves from sensors to anti-theft gates.

      As a rule, four leading technologies are used, differing in the wavelength range:

  • radio magnetic;
  • acousto-magnetic;
  • radio frequency;
  • electromagnetic.

      Loss management in retailers is based on collective responsibility, regular audits and unscheduled inspections, control of reporting and computer equipment.

      Traditional and innovative methods of visual monitoring of the situation in sales areas are also used.


     How to recognize a thief in a store? The article “Theft in the store: 3 functions of video cameras that reduce shoplifting by two times” describes the main advantages of introducing intelligent video surveillance in the retail system.

      You can read about an intelligent video surveillance system’s organisation and get advice from professionals in this article.

Intelligent Thief Detection Camera

       2.5 years ago, Japanese manufacturers of CCTV cameras announced the emergence of a “smart” camera that can recognize shoplifters.

      The developers are the telecommunications giant NTT from Japan and the startup Earth Eyes.

      The name of the camera is AI Guardman.

      The technology is based on artificial intelligence algorithms and open source methodology (authorship of the American Carnegie Mellon University).

       The principle of two-dimensional thieves’ recognition is based on scanning and analyzing a suspicious position of the human body with images loaded into the system’s database. Simultaneously, the technology does not include a “black” list of shoplifters to avoid possible discrimination against people (for example, once caught stealing).

      Operators are alerted to the exact location of the thief when a potential theft is detected.

       The test results showed that the “smart camera against thieves” was able to reduce shoplifting by 40%. The manufacturer focuses on big business.

      The release date of the new item is mid-2018.

      Price is from $2150.

      Cloud storage space is paid additionally ($ 40).

      Thus, we can say that specialized video monitoring equipment can recognize potential shoplifters in the world exists.


       Any entrepreneur will agree that there is no universal remedy in the world that can eliminate the risk of shoplifting. To achieve maximum protection of inventory items, an integrated approach is needed. It is advisable to use intelligent video surveillance combined with additional means (observation mirrors, protection safes, frames, sensors, etc.).

Александр Вебер

Alexander Weber

Specialist in video surveillance, video analytics, cloud storage systems. Consultant on the integration of video surveillance systems and tools in various business sectors. Over 10 years of industry experience.

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