Devika: Stores are thief’s goldmine


When it comes to high street mobile retail, it seems the networks and big multiples have yet to strike a balance between maximising sales and keeping staff safe.

Mobile phone stores are a goldmine, both for owners and potential thieves.

In light of the recent attacks on Carphone and Orange stores around London, it’s worth taking a look at some of the store set ups and procedures that exist.

Display handsets and laptops are one thing, but it seems stores are caught between enticing customers to buy and enticing would be burglars – in some stores, management insist staff wear demo handsets around their necks, which makes them targets.

Stores tend to keep at least one week’s taking at a time, and tills are kept full of cash until they reach a certain limit. Surely these procedures could be revised to minimise the attraction to thieves.

It also doesn’t take a lot of investigation on a thief’s part to formulate a plan of attack.

Stores have regular large deliveries of handsets, which on asking an advisor for a handset which is out of stock, is likely to tell you when that is.

Typically, one staffer is in charge of opening and closing, which also makes them vulnerable.

Some stores don’t have working security cameras and others have back office doors that are left unlocked.

Mobile retailers might claim that staff safety is their number one concern, but the reality of store procedures shows there is a lot to be done towards preventing crime.