Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn

During the Law Enforcement panel discussion at the RLPSA convention this summer, best practices in loss prevention and robbery prevention were discussed. Lots of great information was shared with all the attendees and we think it’s important to pass it forward to those who were not able to attend this informative session.

Many businesses have identified best practices in loss and robbery prevention based on research and past experience and the Houston Police Department applauds this work. Some companies still have a lot to do in the area of loss prevention and security. Because developing and initiating new procedures and processes of this sort require time, effort, and resources, we recommend finding law enforcement partners that can help with your security issues. 

Partnering up can work!

Companies can’t always handle security concerns alone. The best way to control restaurant theft, robberies, burglaries and organized crime rings is through effective cooperation between law enforcement agencies and restaurant security teams.

Restaurant professionals and law enforcement must communicate, collaborate, and share ideas. This intentional effort to build strategic partnerships can help combat criminal activity. Well-oiled, interlocking partnerships can thwart the advancement of criminals who, more and more, are armed with the latest technological advances.

Who are these criminals who are out to ruin my business?

Understanding some of the characteristics of the potential perpetrators is vital to deciding which actions you need to take to protect your company and your customers.


  • Are motivated by quick scores of large amounts of money.
  • Consider locations to hit where they feel there is a low risk of being caught (no cameras/poor lighting quality) or where they think they have the ability to shield their identities.
  • May respond to resistance (usually from small business owners wanting to protect their property at all costs) with extreme violence and can be very aggressive.
  • See police as largely reactionary and feel if they can escape the present situation, maybe they will never be caught.
  • Often are familiar with the practices and processes of the potential “hit” and have devised ways to breach security barriers.
  • Are underlings operating at the direction of more experienced offenders.

What can you do?

Best practice research shows that actions such as installing lighting systems, putting up signs, positioning cameras effectively, holding employee training sessions, insisting that cash handling policies be followed, and utilizing FTP “drop box” safes can contribute significantly to lower security breaches.

The Importance of Best Practice Execution and Partnering with Law Enforcement

But sometimes practices, though good in theory, are not enforced effectively at the local level.

This oversight may be due to a number of reasons:

  • The cost of the action, whether purchasing and installing lights, cameras, or signs, is prohibitive.
  • Shortcuts are easier to take, so the procedure is not followed properly.
  • Employees get distracted from security procedures and follow their own plan of action.
  • Employees forget what they are expected to do and rather than admit they need help, do nothing at all.


As a business person, your ultimate goal is crime prevention. Developing procedures, processes, and training programs to ensure that best practices are followed by all employees may be a good way to get ahead in the fight against criminal activity. Partnering with law enforcement agencies may lessen your burden a little, but you have to reach out and begin the conversation. Ask yourself, “Who can help and how?”, then start that conversation.