The Theory of Escalation

Measuring the Value of Catching Internal Fraud Early

One of the leading causes of shrink is internal theft by dishonest associates employed by the retailer. Loss Prevention’s role is to identify these employees as quickly as possible in order to prevent future losses.

The Theory of Escalation is that an employee who steals will, over time, steal more often and more valuable assets. The same logic is sometimes called “graduation” as common criminals often start with shoplifting or petty theft and “graduate” to much larger crimes such as auto theft and robbery.

This report covers:

  • An in depth look at 12,659 incidents in 5,926 cases over a two-and-a-half-year period
  • 40 different retailers' reported incidents of employee theft
  • The average amount of theft increase over time
  • And more...
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