The shoe rack industry is a major problem for the American economy.
The industry relies heavily on retail jobs, and many retail employees rely on the rack for their livelihood.
However, the industry is rife with theft and vandalism, and in 2015 the Department of Justice’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported that more than 500,000 people in the U.S. had their jobs stolen in 2016.
A large portion of the industry’s problems stem from the lack of uniform policies and enforcement.
In an effort to better understand the issues and to help prevent future incidents, The Washington Post is partnering with the Center for Investigative Reporting to offer readers tips and information to combat shoe rack theft.
“Most retail stores don’t have enough personnel to handle all the people who work there, but it’s not a lot of money that we’re talking about,” said Mike DeLong, director of the Center’s Crime Prevention Unit.
“The idea is to have a uniform policy that says this is a place that is off-limits for theft.
The more people you have on the job, the less likely it is to happen.”
Here are the best ways to prevent the most common shoe rack crimes: Protect the property.
If you know of a crime or suspect that may have happened, do not approach the store.
You can use the U-Pick system, which is used by more than 200,000 retailers nationwide, to pick up shoes at the curb or in a safe location.
“This is the biggest deterrent for people,” DeLong said.
“You’re not going to want to walk into a store, because you’re going to have the door slammed in your face and you’ll have people who have a lot more cash.”
When you arrive at the store, look for the door and call for help if necessary.
“When someone does this, it’s going to get you in trouble,” DeYoung said.
You also can report any suspicious activity to police.
“A lot of times it’s just a matter of saying, ‘This is a really bad situation, this could happen to me,'” DeLong added.
“People are going to feel a little bit safer knowing that if they need help, there’s someone who will get them help.”
Do not leave any valuables unattended.
“If you leave a lot in your pocket, people are going for your valuator,” DeNewton said.
Also, be wary of anyone who has been involved in a burglary.
“In most cases, you can’t just leave your value in the store because they’re going for it,” De Newton said, adding that a stolen shoe can cost as much as $50,000.
“That’s a lot.
You’re taking someone’s property,” De Long said.
Be aware of potential threats.
When someone steals shoes from the rack, the person often looks for a place to hide or has a plan to commit a crime.
DeNewson suggested that people report this activity to the police and use the phone app, Call Me.
If that fails, call the police.
DeLong noted that the safest place to store shoes is in a locked room, and a person with a gun may be able to use the rack as a hideout.
De Newtons tips: Be aware that a lot depends on the person who is stealing shoes.
De Long says that you should always lock your door and don’t let anyone in the room.
If a person is wearing gloves, they can also put on gloves and hide behind a bookcase.
“Put your hands where they won’t see you,” De newton said of keeping your hands in the bookcase or behind a chair.
If someone has been working with you, make sure you’re OK with them coming in.
“It’s going be a struggle for you,” he said.