• Center for Problem oriented policing

POP Center Tools Understanding Theft of 'Hot Products' Appendix B

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Appendix B: General Response Strategies in Reducing Theft of Hot Products



Analytic steps

Possible Responses

Product design


When manufacturers do not address security concerns at the design stage and introduce a highly risky product

Having identified your hot products, assess them in design terms

  • Inform companies of product vulnerabilities and encourage them to make safer designs in the future
  • Identify the weak elements and retro-fit a solution
  • Inform the public about trends in hot products

Highly desirable products

When, independent of the level of security, an item is highly fashionable or in demand, offenders are likely to work harder to overcome obstacles that make the theft of the items harder because the rewards will be greater

Calculate product theft rates, such as computing the ratio of the frequency with which a product is stolen on its own and with other items

  • Register products
  • Tag products
  • Aim crime prevention education at product owners
  • Aim crime prevention information at product retailers

Highly available or accessible products

When things are easy to steal because there are so many of them; this is true of many things that people carry around with them on a daily basis and which are far more available when on the person than when secured at home

Examine the frequency with which items are stolen, analyze common offender MOs to see if such products are stolen because of their accessibility (e.g., bags left on tables in cafes)

  • Inform victims of theft risks and of product anti-theft features, where appropriate
  • Harden targets to make them physically more difficult to steal
  • Identify and disrupt markets for resale/trade of stolen goods

Highly removable or mobile products

Items with wheels are easier to steal, as are small mobile items, particularly those that are light-weight

Identify if particular vehicle or product types are targeted; assess whether these lack adequate physical security measures

  • Encourage the use of vehicle immobilizers or tracking devices for targeted high-value vehicles
  • Encourage the use of good security practices for items that are left unattended (e.g., bicycles)
  • Promote the use of product features that disable or make it difficult to use (e.g., removal of wheels from parked bicycles, or remote locking/tracking of mobile electronic devices)

Easily concealable products

Small items are easier to conceal, as are less conspicuous items; some products are difficult to trace to the rightful owner (e.g., it is difficult to prove where a stolen bottle of whiskey has come from)

Identify “hot products” and assess their characteristics

  • Encourage store owners (or others) to use tracking devices such as radio frequency identification (RFID, which is inexpensive), microchips, or security tags
  • Encourage the use of unique product identifiers for valuable items
  • Product registration

Highly consumable products

Products that are easy to sell are in greater demand; consumable items (such as batteries, razors, and shampoo) are in constant demand

Identify “hot products” and assess their characteristics

  • Advise store owners about the careful placement of products within stores to reduce the opportunity for theft
  • Promote the use of RFID/security tags
  • Disrupt stolen goods markets (where stolen on mass for resale)

Note: This table could be amended by considering other factors that make certain product types vulnerable. For example, according to the AT CUT PRICES50 model, the fast-moving consumer goods most likely to be stolen in shoplifting incidents are those which are: Affordable, Transportable, Concealable, Untraceable, Tradable, Profitable, Reputable, Imperishable, Consumable, Evaluable, and Shiftable. As with the CRAVED model, it is likely that the more of these characteristics a given item has the greater the risk that it will be stolen.

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