Police urge traders selling power tools to be on their guard
Police believe two white males are behind the thefts. The men are suspected to be entering large retail stores and selecting boxed power tools, then removing the items and placing them beneath their clothing before leaving the store.
A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: "All items have serial numbers engraved on them so if you are offered any new power tools unboxed and with evidence of serial number tampering save yourself grief and refuse to purchase. Retailers are advised to keep expensive items secure and visible to cashiers or covered by CCTV and utilise box tampering security if at all possible to deter would-be thieves. Crime advice for retailers is widely available however the key points to establish in crime prevention are: Establish a policy, train your staff, be vigilant and deter offenders."
He added: "A good way to protect your business and prevent crime is to adopt a meet and greet customer service whereby staff engage with every customer who walks through the door. This is good customer service and is a great tactic to deter shoplifters as they are aware they are being watched. If someone appears to be spending a long time selecting items then ask staff to approach them to offer assistance as they may be just waiting for an opportunity to conceal goods, or they may need help in selecting the right product.
"The last point relates to declining to let anyone into your store if you know they have committed a crime on your premises previously. Store owners can ban a person from their shop by informing them in person or by issuing them a banning letter and recording this and their details into a shop journal so all staff are aware. Should this person return and refuse to leave then you or your security can escort them from the building or contact police on 101 if they become aggressive or refuse to leave."