Published: Aug 5, 2019

A typical Russian shoplifter is a man under 35, possibly drunk, with no stable income, and having previous offenses in police records. An average theft amounts to some 1,000 rubles, experts found out.

Who are Russian shoplifters?

The majority of store thieves are men (78%), 60% of whom are people from 18 to 35 years old. This is what is reflected in the study carried out by anti-shoplifting solution developer BIT. Experts exploit data captured by face recognition system Stop Shoplifter in retail stores and statistics of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for January—November 2018. In total, engineers analyzed 64,7 thousand thefts committed in Russian stores.

Most frequently, a Russian shopbreaker does not have a stable income, has police records, and may be drunk (30% chance).

On average, stolen goods are worth some 1,000 rubles, the study shows.

Most coveted products?

As retail store Magnit’s representative told RBC, stores are most exposed to pilfering, with amounts not exceeding the level of 1,000 rubles. Usually, such products include liquors, coffee, chocolate, cosmetics, perfumery, and products that can be effortlessly hidden in pockets or under clothes. According to RBC’s vis-a-vis, Magnit stores feature a set of security measures to prevent thefts. Specifically, all the stores are fitted with cutting-edge anti-theft systems, video surveillance infrastructures, and guards in large shops. “Besides, the floor is arranged so that the products most exposed to the risk of theft is clearly visible to employees,” Magnit’s representative explained.

A representative of premium retail chain Azbuka Vkusa confirmed BIT’s findings on shoplifters’ age range but made a slight remark. “As our practice shows, thefts are most often committed by groups and by order. Possibly, this may be related to the chain’s market positioning.”

Neither Auchan, nor X5 Retail Group provided comments on the situation.

Are face recognition systems effective when it comes to combating store thefts?

The Stop Shoplifter system is being used by stores of 14 retail chains in major Russian cities, including Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Ekaterinburg. As CEO of NtechLab (developer of face recognition algorithm FindFace that powers the system) Mikhail Ivanov told RBC, the system captures and stores images of previously busted thieves. Once such people appear, the alert is sent to the security service.

Source: RBC
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