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Employee Theft - The Out-of-Sight Crime

NCJ Number
Security World Volume: 22 Issue: 3 Dated: (March 1985) Pages: 32-38
C Kirk
Date Published
6 pages
This article focuses on employee theft control policies used by retail, finance, health care, and transportation companies.
A written, distributed, and enforced policy on employee theft is a major tool for combatting the problem; however, some companies are adding equipment identification programs, making films on employee theft and using employee training and awareness to cut losses. The owner of the Bobbi Gee clothing chain, for example, only hires employees who pass a preemployment screening exam and a polygraph test. Once hired, employees are 'forced' to follow required security procedures. Properly implemented, such procedures can eliminate the opportunity for employee theft. United Airlines has also implemented a rigid new program against employee theft. Since the airline was founded, every employee caught stealing an item has been fired; last year, the airline took another step to reduce employee theft by changing its policy regarding the reporting of lost or stolen property. Now, supervisors and managers who fail to report missing items are subject to disciplinary action. Banks are combating employee theft by relying on extensive employee training, preemployment testing, and fingerprint checks. Some, such as New York's Chase Manhattan Bank, have produced films dealing with the problem of employee theft. Films are also used as part of a multipronged attack for curtailing the theft of narcotics at hospitals. Training and awareness to prevent employee theft is the preferred approach; indications are that this approach is working. Four photographs and two graphs are included.