Owners of retail chains in the USA, Europe and Australia are sounding the alarm. The growth in theft has exceeded the pre-pandemic figures (after some suspension of the lockdowns), and is provoked by inflation and rising prices, experts believe. More and more retailers are complaining about huge losses that are jeopardizing the very existence of small retail. According to the U.S. National Retail Federation, retailers’ losses from theft in 2022 amounted to about $100 billion. In addition to ordinary shoplifters, there are more cases of truly treacherous looting by organized groups of professional shoplifters, who remove entire carts of goods from stores in front of the amazed public. Retailers in London, Colorado, New York, etc. have complained of this. Security rules do not allow to prevent the intruders in any way, as earlier there were recorded cases of injuries and even murders when trying to prevent the thieves.

Everything from food to clothing, shoes and electronics are being taken from stores. Industry participants expect that in 2023 and beyond, the situation will only get worse and theft losses will become even higher. Retail chains are taking point measures: security staff is being strengthened, guards are equipped with service dogs, the number of surveillance cameras is increasing, even food products are placed in protective boxes with GPS sensors.

In addition, an increase in thefts is recorded in warehouses, in the delivery process even before the goods arrive in stores.

Addressing this complex problem requires a systematic approach. AI technologies and, in particular, predictive behavioral analytics — a tool for predicting human behavior — can identify offenders even before a crime is committed at any stage of goods movement and on the sales floor. This requires retraining and adjusting the computer behavioral model to specific tasks.