CONSUMER

Deputies say self-checkout aisles prove inviting to different brand of thieves

Jan 24, 2024, 10:06 PM | Updated: Jan 25, 2024, 6:47 am

SPANISH FORK — Not only are self-checkout aisles inviting to shoplifters, but deputies say they’re also the places car and home burglars are most likely to cash in on the credit cards they steal.

“Self-checkout is probably the easiest way for them to get away with it,” Sgt. Spencer Cannon with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office told KSL TV Wednesday. “They think if I go up there and I use self-checkout, there’s less chance that someone will recognize that I’m doing something that I shouldn’t.”

Cannon supplied multiple samples of surveillance videos capturing suspects using stolen credit cards in the self-checkout aisles of major retailers.

In one case from 2020, Cannon said two suspects spent nearly 15 minutes at the same self-check stand as they charged up multiple cards.

“I think anybody, if they saw one person using half a dozen credit cards, would at least have their ‘Spidey senses’ start tingling and say, ‘Something doesn’t look right there,’” Cannon said.

He said the card thieves will often use gift cards to launder the credit they stole.

“If you can use a stolen credit card to buy four $200 cash cards or two $500 cash cards, that’s a heck of a take,” Cannon said.

At a time of changing attitudes and approaches to self-checkout aisles, Cannon said some self-examination might be warranted for retailers if they aren’t doing so already for the spaces that are saturated in security cameras but also tend to be lightly supervised.

“At the very least, retailers would be wise to consider how they could make it more secure,” Cannon said. “Off they go and it hasn’t cost (the thieves) a penny, but it’s costing other people a lot — you know, pain and heartache.”

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Deputies say self-checkout aisles prove inviting to different brand of thieves