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Old 07.06.2015, 10:06
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How to catch a thief

At the workplace of my son electronic gadgets get stolen almost every week. This is serious. There is tension in the teams and good relationships are on the line. Installing a camera is not option.

My son needs some clever tricks on how to find out who is the thief, without damaging trustful friendships to all non-thieves.
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Old 07.06.2015, 10:16
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Re: How to catch a thief

It's a pity that Cary Grant and Grace Kelly are both dead.

Hidden camera - you might even end up with something you can sell to a TV channel.
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Old 07.06.2015, 10:21
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Re: How to catch a thief

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At the workplace of my son electronic gadgets get stolen almost every week. This is serious. There is tension in the teams and good relationships are on the line. Installing a camera is not option.

My son needs some clever tricks on how to find out who is the thief, without damaging trustful friendships to all non-thieves.
What kind of electronic gadgets, cheap or expensive? And what type of workplace?
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Old 07.06.2015, 10:25
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Re: How to catch a thief

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At the workplace of my son electronic gadgets get stolen almost every week. This is serious. There is tension in the teams and good relationships are on the line. Installing a camera is not option.

My son needs some clever tricks on how to find out who is the thief, without damaging trustful friendships to all non-thieves.
Why?
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Old 07.06.2015, 10:28
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Re: How to catch a thief

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What kind of electronic gadgets, cheap or expensive? And what type of workplace?
And why is it up to your son to catch the thief? Is he in the frame?
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Old 07.06.2015, 10:59
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Re: How to catch a thief

Ask the police. They're supposed to be good at that sort of thing.
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Old 07.06.2015, 11:19
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Re: How to catch a thief

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Ask the police. They're supposed to be good at that sort of thing.
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Old 07.06.2015, 11:25
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Re: How to catch a thief

Involve the police
Report theft by persons unknown
Get the police to catch the thief
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Old 07.06.2015, 11:27
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Re: How to catch a thief

put a similar expensive gadget to tempt the thief. then hide in a cupboard and watch from there. wait until the thief takes it, then film him in the act!
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Old 07.06.2015, 11:49
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Re: How to catch a thief

Hi,
Ultraviolet theft detection powder. On amazon or your local spy shop.
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Old 07.06.2015, 12:01
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Re: How to catch a thief

Apple's 'Find My Phone'?
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Old 07.06.2015, 22:54
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Re: How to catch a thief

Perhaps with some double stock control system?

I've seen something like that used for CDs or DVDs, where the cover/box is displayed without the contents, and the staff member has to take the disc out of a drawer and de-activate an electronic alarm (with a badge or a pincode), before putting the disc in the box for the customer.

Another way could be a handwritten - in addition to an electronic - double control, such as some pharmacies have when dispensing medication.... one staff member prepares it, but may not release it to the customer until another staff member has checked it is the right product. In some pharmacies, the checker has to put her/his initials on a chart.

Systems along those lines work well if the mechanism involves two staff members: a seller and a checker. And each day/shift the staff are rotated, so that a different pair is seller and checker. An added check is if seller and checker are not reciprocal, i.e. at least one other person is involved. And if each staff member, over the week, has both roles. This can also work if the goods are not being directly sold but shipped out, with a packer and a checker.

Those kinds of systems work to keep all the staff checked by other staff members. If an electronic badge or pincode is used, the whole history can be analysed to see when the the thefts occurred. This only really shows something, of course, if the physical stocktaking is done at frequent intervals. Which though time-consuming is not a bad idea, for a while.

If the thefts are not by staff members but by customers, then greater vigilence is really the only thing, by alert staff watching, and also with electronic tags which beep if an item is removed without having first been paid for.

I'd be interesed to know why installing a camera is out of the question.
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Old 07.06.2015, 23:24
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Re: How to catch a thief

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I'd be interesed to know why installing a camera is out of the question.
Data and privacy protection. Especially high hurdles apply at the workplace.
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Old 07.06.2015, 23:37
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Re: How to catch a thief

Yes, Urs_Max, yet shops, buses, trains, even gyms, often do have cameras, and so there must be a legal way to do it. I once worked in a place with a camera, and all staff were given a document to sign.
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Old 08.06.2015, 18:14
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Re: How to catch a thief

Loving that OP *rofl*

And YES, the EF is also the recommended first place to turn to by the world's leading emergency response services in case of avalanches, floodings and diarrhea
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Old 08.06.2015, 18:17
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Re: How to catch a thief

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Ask the police. They're supposed to be good at that sort of thing.
Ermmmm...I think the EF SOP is to apologise to the thief and give them a gift. Not call the police.
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Old 08.06.2015, 18:21
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Re: How to catch a thief

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Ermmmm...I think the EF SOP is to apologise to the thief and give them a gift. Not call the police.
I think it's probably an even split between a gift and a good kicking, but yeah.
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Old 08.06.2015, 18:22
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Re: How to catch a thief

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I think it's probably an even split between a gift and a good kicking, but yeah.
Perfect Swiss passive-aggressive - do both!
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Old 08.06.2015, 19:44
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Re: How to catch a thief

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Installing a camera is not option.
I worked once (in the 90s!) for a company with a similar, thankfully short-lived issue with wallet thefts. Installing a camera was also not an option because the lockers and cloakrooms were in changing areas.

After a spate of thefts, the company security department set a trap wallet, with marked notes which triggered a silent alarm when they were removed. The thieving employee was caught in the act.

Catching the thief was one thing; convincing people to take better care of their property was quite another.
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Old 08.06.2015, 20:55
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Re: How to catch a thief

Hello all, here is the initiator of the thread question. Thank you all for your input. Some good thoughts. To your questions:

no, my son is not in the frame of the suspected

his workplace is full of electronics

why is installing a camera not an option: because we are talking about 35 offices alltogether and someone would have to pay for the whole install procedure

imagine your smart phone gets stolen and 10 minutes later you see someone in your office running around with what looks exactly like your smart phone.

You stole my phone - if that turns out not to be true you have lost a potential friend and damaged relationships. Well well well.

Can I look inside your bag? Hm hm hm. But there must be a clever trick that offends no one except the real thief.
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