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True Stories of Face Recognition & Retail Crime Case 2: The Ticket Switcher

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Each day, FaceFirst helps retailers catch shoplifters and organized retail criminals. The Case of the Ticket Switcher shines a light on a truly devious form of retail theft that is all too common. 

The Scheme

The perpetrator had a habit of finding expensive items such as a Dyson Vacuum cleaner, along with an inexpensive item in the same store. She would then take the tag from the inexpensive item and put it on the expensive item. Finally, she would scan the inexpensive item’s ticket in the self-checkout line and make off with the expensive item. 

Self-checkout lines provide customers with added convenience while helping retailers reduce operation costs. And while most customers are honest, self-checkout fraud remains a $14 billion annual problem according to data from the National Retail Federation

How FaceFirst Solved the Crime

One of biggest benefits of face recognition is that it helps retailers set up an intelligent threat network across store locations. This is crucial because shoplifters routinely steal from the same brands over and over again. 

In this particular case, the ticket switcher was seen in surveillance footage leaving a store with a stolen vacuum cleaner. Her photograph (taken from surveillance footage) was then enrolled in the store’s database using FaceFirst.

A couple weeks later, she returned to another store to steal again and it generated an alert. However, there was no asset protection officer present at that time, so she got away with another vacuum cleaner. Other stores in the area were then alerted, and within an hour, she showed up at another store to pull her signature ticket switching heist. This time, security professionals were waiting for her. And the moment she tried to steal another vacuum, she was apprehended.  

This is just one example of how face recognition protected merchandise and helped bring a criminal to justice. If you’re interested in learning more about why face recognition offers the fastest and most dramatic ROI of any retail security, contact us today


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