By: Jesse Davis West August 06, 2019

The recent $24M retail gift card bust in New York is a reminder that organized retail crime (ORC) is alive and well, and retailers have to aggressively pursue new tactics and technologies to stay a step ahead. Identity automation technology offers the potential to radically speed up retail investigations.

While IP video surveillance has been a game-changing tool for post-crime investigations, it can be time-consuming and costly to search through hours of surveillance footage. As an example, in the aftermath of the 2011 London riots, police scoured through more than 200,000 hours of video footage. 

Retail loss prevention investigators rarely have the bandwidth to fully audit all relevant security footage. As a result, retail criminals routinely go undetected by investigators. But this is changing fast. Identity automation technology has the power to surface actionable intelligence in less than a second. 

Accelerating Investigations with Identity Automation 

Retailers are finding that face recognition solutions can accelerate investigations like no other technology. Identity automation speeds up investigations by letting retail investigators instantly see the times, dates and store locations that a suspected individual has set foot in. By reviewing the associated surveillance footage, investigators can potentially identify footage of the suspect committing additional crimes. This makes building a case far faster.

Recently, we demonstrated the power of the FaceFirst system to a loss prevention executive who had a prior career in law enforcement. His reaction: “You’ve just saved someone hundreds of hours of work.” 

Identifying Accomplices

Many of the most notorious organized retail criminals don’t work alone. They have regular collaborators who aid them during fraud attempts, robberies or grab-and-go operations. According to Transunion, “shoplifters rarely go in alone and instead establish teams. For example, there might be a coordinated group of five that will rob a store blind. Two distract the sales associates, another keeps a lookout for security, as the other two fill their clothing, bags, strollers and so on with stolen items before quickly heading for the door.” 

It can be difficult to know who these accomplices are, but identity automation technology can help surface patterns, revealing when other individuals repeatedly appear at the same times and locations as suspects. 

Real-Time Identity Intelligence

Of course, identity automation solutions doesn’t simply accelerate investigations, they also help bring suspects to justice—check out our True Stories of Retail Crime series for some awesome examples. Identity automation technology can alert security the moment that a suspect enters a store with actionable directives and contextual intelligence. 

Looking to speed up retail investigations with identity automation software? Reach out to us today and schedule your demo.