Reducing theft in the company with video surveillance

Annually, in Germany, Austria and Switzerland goods for roughly 7 billion euros are stolen in retail trade alone. Thieves also operate in warehouses, production locations and in offices. If one considers the low crime detection rate for thefts (approx. 20 per cent) and the high percentage of repeat offenders (more than 60 per cent), then the advantages of a detailed surveillance with the chance of identifying the culprits are pretty obvious.

Theft is a problem for every company

Modern thieves will steal anything that isn't fixed to the floor. No company is safe from theft because through the internet almost every product can find a buyer somewhere.


  • In Norderstedt, Germany, metal thieves stole copper piping worth 125,000 EUR from a sanitary business dealer.
  • In Meißen, Germany, thieves broke into a driving school. They were after the computer system, valued at 6,000 EUR.
  • In Frankfurt, a 25-tonne heavy-duty excavator was stolen. Despite the increasing use of GPS equipment in construction machinery a drop in thefts is not detectable.
  • In Alsfeld, Germany, unknown culprits stole 300 litres of diesel from a construction vehicle.

Theft is a problem for every company © / tunart

Billions in damage caused by shrinkage

Roughly 50 per cent of all inventory differences in retail trade result from theft. Employees and suppliers have easy access to the goods in stores and the loading zones. Video surveillance here would offer advantages such as night view using infrared lighting (IR), which recognises what is happening at the warehouse or on the loading ramp even when it is pitch dark. With state-of-the art motion detection in surveillance cameras you can enjoy all-round protection, even in hardly accessible areas.

Billions in damage caused by shrinkage © ABUS

Video surveillance provides effective protection

Video surveillance does not protect per se against theft. However, it can deter criminals up front – especially opportunistic criminals, who are looking for a quick way to steal valuable items. And: if a theft is committed, the recordings in your video surveillance can serve as evidence while also enabling you to identify the culprit(s).

Securing critical areas

When installing a surveillance system the correct positioning of the camera plays a decisive role. This is why you should always have the video system planned and installed by a specialist dealer. You should consider these locations in particular for placing cameras:

  • entrance and exit areas for customers
  • cash register area or areas in which money is held
  • personnel and supplier entrance areas
  • storage rooms and their entrances and exits

Video surveillance provides effective protection © ABUS

Five tips to reduce theft

  1. Analyse the critical areas:
    Thieves prefer to do their deeds in areas where they are least noticed.
  2. Keep a watchful eye on all the company areas:
    Usually sales is the place to focus on, but a lot can be stolen from offices and the production area too.
  3. Make all your staff more aware of the problem:
    Discuss the subject during company events, issue clear (legally verified) instructions for any dealings with thieves.
  4. Use video surveillance for preservation of evidence:
    All surveillance in the company must be in line with statutory regulations.
  5. If the worse comes to the worst:
    Involve the police as soon as possible, and always press charges against thieves.

Shoplifter tricks

Traditionally thieves like to "swipe" things when in shops. They conceal their stolen goods in their clothing, in prams or in the packaging for other articles. With video surveillance from ABUS you can uncover these typical tricks:

The sales receipt trick

A sales receipt left by another customer is picked up, the thief then enters the shop, takes an article from the shelf before returning with the sales receipt to the cash register.

The complaint trick

A customer buys e.g. an electronic device, returns to the shop the next day, takes an identical device from the shelf, then complains about it and has the amount reimbursed.