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Shoplifting decreases while costs increase at Andersen AFB

  • Published
  • By Jim Romines
  • AAFES corporate communication
The state of shoplifting at Andersen is becoming a good news/bad news proposition as sophisticated anti-shoplifting measures work to decrease incidents, while increasingly aggressive thieves increase costs for all exchange shoppers.

The good news is that upgraded camera systems capable of recording to DVR as well as a 2002 amendment allowing federal retailers to pursue losses and administrative costs related to shoplifting, played a role in decreasing occurrences at the Andersen BX by 29 percent, from 38 in 2005 to 27 in 2006.

The bad news is that while occurrences decreased, the cost of products involved in detected cases increased from $1,901 in 2005 to $3,062.

"Shoplifting at the exchange results in a reduced return on investment to our primary shareholders -- the military community," said Guam General Manager Flordeliza Payton. "Because the Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a command with a mission to return earnings to Morale, Welfare and Recreation activities, shoplifting at the BX is essentially the same thing as taking money directly from the pockets of military families."

With a dual mission to provide quality goods and services at competitively low prices and generate earnings to support MWR programs, AAFES, which has contributed more than $2.4 billion to military quality of life programs in the past ten 10 years, continues to focus efforts on reducing theft.

To protect the MWR dividend and help strengthen the exchange benefit, AAFES Loss Prevention associates proactively identify store display areas that tend to have high theft rates. These areas include electronics, sporting goods and cosmetics which offer small, high value items. The Andersen BX has camera surveillance systems manned by detectives to monitor these areas and, with new DVR capability, review more than 100 hours of recording on all cameras.

"No one likes catching shoplifters," said Payton. "In fact, a major effort by Loss Prevention is to educate the public on our capability to monitor and record suspicious activity as a tool to deter shoplifting before it ever happens. It's our hope that individuals who might be considering theft will see the security measures and think twice."

If shoplifting is suspected, BX Loss Prevention associates turn the issue over to military police. In addition to possible disciplinary action and/or criminal prosecution, the Federal Claims Collection Act, which began March 1, 2002, allows AAFES to enact a flat, administrative cost (Civil Recovery) of $200. There may be further fees, in addition to the Civil Recovery Program, depending on the condition of the stolen merchandise.

The Army & Air Force Exchange ServiceĀ is a joint command of the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, and is directed by a Board of Directors who is responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force through the Service Chiefs of Staff. AAFES has the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with articles of merchandise and services and of generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs. To find out more about AAFES' history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/pa/default.asp.

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