To prevent lost revenues from internal theft, retailers will be looking to advanced technology for more effective ways to monitor their stores, said Ted Roccagli, retail marketing manager/business coach at Mansfield Oil, which serves more than 300 convenience stores throughout the country. Mansfield is recommending video surveillance equipment that interfaces with POS and connects with high definition cameras to all of their customers.
POS Interface enables the user to efficiently view video by searching for transactions with high risk, i.e.—void, no sale, cancel, etc., and high definition cameras allow the operator to really home in on each transaction rung up on every register, Roccagli said.
Clearer imaging makes it possible for retailers to zero in on the license plates of any car that drives off without paying for fuel. The system Mansfield is using is from New Image Vault Digital Video Security.
Roccagli also noted that cash management technology has advanced at the pump as well. He cited a new smart safe technology with cash acceptors at the pump to improve the cash management process.
“With this system, which was developed by FireKing Security Group and Brink’s, no one in the store ever has to touch the cash,” he said. “Owners are free to focus on customers and employees, not on the day-to-day management of cash.”
When the customer pays at the pump through the cash acceptors, the money goes directly into a “smart” safe, limiting opportunities for theft.
The safe automatically generates comprehensive, detailed reports on the cash transactions. Improved security, as well as reduced risk of having large amounts of cash on-site, are some of the major benefits of the smart safe program, he noted.
Either the operator can pick up the cash or it can be picked up by Brinks. When utilized in conjunction with the armored transport service, deposits made into the smart safes are credited to the owner’s bank account the next business day through an electronic file transmission. All notes deposited through the cash acceptors are contractually guaranteed by the armored car company.
“This system closes the gaps in the cash-handling process where we inevitably see revenue disappearing, Roccagli explained. “In addition, the safes count and validate all notes while rejecting counterfeit bills.”
According to Roccagli, the first cash acceptors were installed at targeted stores in October of last year. They are scheduled to be rolled out to Mansfield’s customers nationwide this year.
The smart safes are available for purchase or monthly lease through New Albany, Ind.-based FireKing Security Group. The Brinks program is also available through FireKing.
Safe and Secure
According to Hurley, S.D.-headquartered Athena Research Corp., led by forensic sociologist and security expert Rosemary Erickson, convenience stores are the second favorite target of adult robbers (right after street robbery) and the fourth favorite among teenage robbers. The Athena report recommended the following actions to deter future robberies:
• Keep low amounts of cash in the register.
• Train employees in proper behavior.
• Maintain good lighting.
• Limit access and escape routes.
• Ensure good visibility. ◆
Deterrence Factors, At Any Location, Comparison Samples
When protecting your store, simple changes, such as a bullet resistant barrier and an armed guard on duty, could be a game changer in forcing potential robbers to think twice about attempting to rob your c-store. Source: Athena Research Corp.
Juvenile Robbers % Deterred
bullet resistant barrier
armed guard on duty
frequent police patrol
fences blocking escape
camera covering area
rob before closing
video camera in use
unarmed guard on duty
two clerks on duty