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News & Blogs SuperTarget SuperShoplifter School

Discussion in 'Making A Living' started by AlwaysLost, Mar 16, 2017.

  1. AlwaysLost

    AlwaysLost Failed Adventurer
    StP Supporter

    Oct 16, 2016
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    This article is a comprehensive guide on how to successfully shoplifting. Its sick!!

    *****Stealing SuperTarget: How to Hit the Bullseye*****
    By: Xap
    First Created Industriously on: 11/28/2004
    Between the Hours of: Midnight and 8 AM

    Boring but Necessary Disclaimer: The following document is purely for
    informational and entertainment purposes, and the sole responsibility for
    any illegal actions lies with the reader. The author is in no way
    responsible for the mistakes the amateurs will make while potentially
    attempting to perform things described herein. Read at your own risk.

    Oh - and if you do get caught, tell 'em Xap (pronounced "zap") sent ya.
    They won't know me, but they'll probably think the name is clever.


    So, you've decided to join the Five-Finger discount club offered by so many
    fine retailers today. The most popular store chain around where I live
    seems to be Target and SuperTarget. I mean, great prices and none of the
    evil and filth you find at Wal-Mart, right? And look at all the incredibly
    expensive goods your sticky little fingers just can't wait to shove in your
    pockets. . .but wait. . .what's going to happen if someone who works for the
    store catches you stealing? How can you get away with it?
    To allay the fears of many readers that this is going to be just another
    stupid file written by an acnefied teen h4ck3r. . .(sorry, "cracker", I
    don't believe the media stereotypes either) everything written here is
    absolutely true Target procedure, written by someone who spent a long time
    working in the heart of their security department. It is all up to date as
    of today, but who knows what the future holds, right? The best I can tell
    you is, if you don't believe me, go apply for a job there yourself and find
    out. They hire 18 and above for the security dept. And good news - Target
    policy actually has more rules *preventing* their security from being able
    to stop you than the other way around. The odds are highly stacked in favor
    of thieves who are well-informed, as you are about to be. Gods bless
    wrongful-arrest lawsuits and the fear they have inspired in Corporate
    America. Reap, my friends! Reap!
    So why give them up when I used to be their loyal watchdog? Eh. They
    never knew the reason I was so good at catching thieves was because I used
    to be one myself. Talk about reverting to type now, huh? I actually
    started writing this as a book to try to publish with an alternative
    company, but didn't want to deprive the young and bold but short of pocket
    money from this valued information. In the spirit of sharing knowledge for
    the sake of everyone's betterment, I'm offering this up for free, and just
    hope no one will alter it in any way or try to claim it as their own. So,
    fly free, my beautiful tutorial! Enlighten the masses!

    Anyways, enough intro, on to the meat. I'll take you through all of
    Target's procedures, physical security, everything, and the ways you can go
    about circumventing and defeating all of them to the best of your ability.
    By the way - I'll use the terms Target and SuperTarget interchangeably.
    The only difference between the two is that SuperTargets are newer, tend to
    have better equipment, and have a grocery section.

    ********** The People **********

    The first line of defense in any Target is its Asset Protection Department,
    or "AP" for short. You may have heard someone in the store calling "AP"
    over the radios all employees carry. This is the security department,
    usually called loss prevention at other stores. Every AP dept. has a few
    levels of employees. The bottom rung is the Target Protection Specialist,
    or TPS. These are the men and women in tan shirts and black pants, carrying
    handcuffs and radios on their belts. They patrol the stores, and by policy
    are supposed to spend most of their time at the front register lanes unless
    something else requires their attention. The main portion of their job is
    watching people checking out to see if any items have been left in the cart
    "by accident", and politely reminding them to pay for it. TPS's get quota'd
    on these items, so it's important they catch as many as possible. They
    watch the doors for suspicious looking people coming in, and assist with any
    emergencies, apprehensions, or anything else that may come up. But, due to
    their lack of rank, *TPS's cannot arrest anyone on their own*! I repeat, a
    TPS cannot stop you from leaving the store with stolen goods. They can
    scare the crap out of you, and check your receipts, and if they're feeling
    bold they can even request the stolen merchandise back. (That's against
    Target policy, though. No one is *ever* supposed to be accused of stealing.
    It hurts customers' feelings.)
    Next up the ladder are the Asset Protection Specialists, or APS's. These
    are the undercovers of the store, and believe me when I say that these folks
    are on the ball. Anyone not dedicated to their job won't last very long in
    this line of work. They patrol the store in plain clothes, carrying a
    hidden walkie-talkie (usually in a purse for the ladies, or in a pocket or
    clipped to the back of the pants for guys, with the shirt covering it).
    They might sit in the office and watch cameras instead, but they're
    encouraged to stay on the floor. A good way to Spot-the-APS is to look for
    someone dashing around to endcaps, ducking down and then moving quickly away
    to act nonchalant. Or just look to see if the rectangle-shape of the radio
    is poking through the back of their shirt where it's hidden. (P.S. - An
    endcap is just the Target term for the end of an aisle. All of Target's
    endcaps are perforated, partly for hanging hooks, but mostly so AP can hide
    and look through the holes to watch you steal. It's very hard to see
    someone hiding behind the endcaps, so be careful and listen closely for
    shifting and breathing.) APS's can arrest people all on their own, with or
    without backup, although if they're worried you might fight they will have a
    TPS, another APS, or enthusiastic regular employees ready to jump on you,
    too. Remember, an APS doesn't have to win the fight with you. They just
    have to slow you down long enough for everyone else to catch up. However,
    if you physically resist they are legally allowed to drop you, using minimal
    violence of course, and cuff you.
    The manager of the AP dept is called an Asset Protection Team Leader, or
    APTL. They usually spend more time researching employee theft than
    patrolling the floor, looking over cash register reports and so on. Many
    APTL's will not spend a lot of time in their personal store, traveling
    around to assist at other stores and leaving the APS's in charge. They
    essentially have the same powers as an APS, they're just way more
    experienced at it. Above them are the District and Regional APTL's, so on
    up the chain. These bigwigs usually never go to a store unless there's some
    major booster making the rounds and they're trying to set a trap for them.
    They're kind of like Target's personal shoplifter SWAT team, but without the
    guns or cool outfits.
    Something to keep in mind: every other employee in the store really wants
    to be in AP. AP is the coolest job in the store to have, and its members
    are constantly getting asked by regular employees if they can apply. What
    this means for you is that every other employee in the store is eager to
    prove that they can catch thieves too, so don't relax just because they're
    wearing red and khaki. Regular employees will go out of their way to alert
    AP to your presence and follow you around. However, if the red-shirts try
    to stop you leaving the store, breeze on by. They have no legal powers, and
    cannot arrest you.

    ********** The Electronics **********

    Okay, on to the electronic security. You've no doubt noticed the hundreds
    of black plastic camera domes mounted in the ceiling of your local Target.
    Well, just as you suspected, quite a few of these are fake. But several
    dozen of them are not. Every Target store has a "camera placement plan"
    they follow, which may vary slightly from store to store, but generally
    follows similar guidelines. Most real cameras will be placed over
    high-theft item areas, such as Electronic Goods, the Pharmacy, Automotive,
    and so on. There is literally a camera mounted over every single register
    in the store, pointing down to watch transactions. There are *no* cameras
    in the Grocery section of SuperTargets (but there are fake domes). The
    closer you are to the outer wall of the Grocery, the farther you are from
    any real cameras. Along the back wall of most stores is the Domestics and
    Furniture sections. . .these usually have no real cameras, either, although
    fake domes are spaced every other aisle. And, of course, it is illegal for
    Target to place cameras in the bathroom, or near enough to the open-ceiling
    dressing rooms to see in.

    Like I said, it may vary between stores, but here are typically where all
    the movable, zoomable, real cameras are:
    - Over the Electronics checkout
    - One at each end of the front lane registers
    - Near the Automotive section (back corner of the store)
    - If the store has two sets of doors (SuperTargets), there will be one
    above each of the front corners of the building, for scanning the parking
    - One at the back of the building, near the rear loading docks
    - Usually in the middle of the Clothing sections, but far enough away from
    the dressing rooms
    - Possibly right over the Pharmacy section, or nearby
    - Right near the Guest Service desk, usually able to see the Portrait
    Studio too in SuperTargets
    - Above the wall-rack that divides the Men's and Women's Clothing sections

    Also, the fixed, non-movable (and often black and white) cameras are
    usually mounted:
    - Near razors and razor blades
    - Near any medicines commonly stolen by junkies
    - Pointing at an angle at the incoming and outgoing doors, to catch face
    shots of thieves as they enter or exit. After my term of employment, they
    seem to have installed a small dome right at the exit doors themselves, at
    about head height. I do not know if this is real or not, but probably is,
    as face shots were a major concern, and the higher cameras would usually
    only give fuzzy pictures at best.
    - Over various aisles near the Electronics section, with computers, games,
    stereos, etc.
    - Over auto radar detectors
    - Over GPS units in the camping section
    - *Definitely* over every single register, even in the Deli, Bakery,
    Starbucks and Pharmacy
    - Over the jewelry counter

    A lot of the real ones have been in use for a long time, and have larger
    plastic domes. The newer fake ones are smaller, but the older, bigger ones
    don't get taken out and replaced to match because who wants the hassle,
    right? Don't go strictly by this, because you never know. But it's a good
    All the cameras are routed back to the AP Office, which is always somewhere
    near the front of the store. At Targets, it's generally right next to the
    Guest Service desk, behind an "Employees Only" door with a peephole in it.
    At SuperTargets, it will be through some swinging doors at the front, and
    then probably right there in a hallway, same kind of door with the peephole.
    The doors are almost always locked, even when people are inside. Inside,
    there will be a room set up with several monitors, usually about 6 to 10,
    which are all connected through multiplexers to VCRs. On one wall will be
    shelves and shelves full of tapes, usually labeled something like, "1A, 1B,
    1C, 1D, 2A, 2B. . ." and so on. The number is usually the date of whichever
    month you're in. The tapes get reused every month, so on the first the "1"
    set is used again, and so on. This means unless they saved footage of you,
    if you didn't attract any camera attention before, next month that tape will
    have been recorded over. The A, B, C, D means the shift the tape was used
    for, morning, afternoon, evening and overnight. And a tape log on a
    clipboard is kept in the office to tell which tapes were used when, and what
    time they started and finished.
    So anyways, an AP can sit at the monitors and control the cameras using an
    old-style joystick switch, or a more modern sort of trackball. They can
    punch up any camera in the store on any monitor, although usually only about
    nine or ten will be able to move. The rest are fixed, and are most likely
    being recorded on a three-second skip. This means only every third second
    gets recorded (to save tape space), which aids thieves since it makes it
    hard to review and see quick motions. Sometimes thieves appear on an aisle,
    and a moment later seem to just vanish without doing anything. Of course,
    watching the cameras in real-time doesn't have the three-second skip. But
    if they have to go back and watch the tape again to see if you really did do
    what they thought you did, they have to worry about missing it if you moved
    too fast.
    The cameras they *can* move are top notch. They can often zoom in so close
    that they can read information right off your driver's license all the way
    from the ceiling. (If it's held still.) One of the big things AP has to
    get is face shots. They depend on being able to say, Yep, that's the guy.
    I've got his face on camera right here. So APs become very good at tracking
    moving people and objects, and at switching quickly to other cameras for a
    better view. If you spend too much time wandering in a spot where there are
    no good cameras, or no cameras at all, they'll have to deploy from the
    office and watch you on foot. This can be good for you, as it heightens the
    chances that they'll miss something important. However, an APS can come out
    and follow you while a TPS watches you on camera. If the TPS sees you do
    something, and the APS doesn't, APSs are *not* supposed to accept this as
    proof, but many often do. Of course, it's the APSs legal fault if the TPS
    was wrong.
    One of the biggest ways to get caught easily is to *look directly at the
    cameras*. I know this sounds stupid, and like common sense, but you would
    not believe how many nervous amateurs will glance repeatedly, or just boldly
    stare at the dome right above them, giving AP a perfect chance for a face
    shot and clear view of whatever they're stealing. Keep your eyes down, boy.
    Just assume the camera is real, and that you should be hiding your hand
    movements anyways. (Except in Grocery, heh.) If you want to scope out a
    camera, do it from a long way off, and do not tilt your head or eyes up.
    Use your peripherals. And trust me - you *cannot* see through the domes to
    tell if it's pointed at you. They're double-layered to prevent this. And
    an upturned face is *very* easy to see in a camera, even on one of the
    smaller monitors, and will instantly attract attention.
    Recently Target began outfitting all its stores with a system called
    "Loronix", which operates on digital recording in a computer instead of
    tapes. It's a big time-saver for AP, because they can just punch in a time,
    date and camera, and the footage will come up instantly, instead of having
    to hunt and peck through hundreds of tapes. Most of the cameras hooked up
    to it are fixed cameras, though, and still on the three-second skip. All of
    the register cameras will be on Loronix. They can also save the little
    movie files to disk, and give these disks to the police as evidence,
    playable on any computer.
    Also, Target camera monitors can be quickly punched up to display whatever
    current transaction is occurring at a certain register, *as the employee is
    ringing up the items*, to see if you're price-tag-switching or
    short-changing the cashier. Be wary.

    We'll touch back on cameras with the procedures. . .for now, on to the EAS
    Every Target store has a set of EAS stands at the front doors, and all
    valuable merchandise (according to weekly store plans) is tagged with EAS
    stickers. These are square, white stickers with bar codes printed across
    them, which you've probably seen before. (The bar code is to help guests
    believe it's just for price scanning, not that Target doesn't trust them.)
    Just pick up a popular CD or DVD at Target, and one will probably be stuck
    to the back. They're tiny antennas of a sort (and forgive me if I don't
    know the electronics here - please, no techno-geniuses flaming me for
    mis-assuming how these work) that will trigger the EAS stand by radio
    frequencies. The stands constantly generate them, and the sticker passing
    through will interrupt them, setting off the alarm. (Coincidentally, the
    numbers printed on the sticker barcode are the actual frequency they're
    working on.) When items are "deactivated" at checkout, they pass the
    sticker over a CheckPoint pad that shuts them off. There is one of these
    pads below the counter of almost every register, so if you can manage to
    palm an item across it without employees noticing, you can deactivate the
    sticker. Supposedly, according to the online company tech specs, the
    Checkpoints are supposed to work up to around a foot or so above the actual
    pad. Sometimes crooked AP will swipe whole rolls of these stickers across
    the deactivator pad, rendering them useless before they're placed on
    products. A lot of other things set off the stands too - cell phones,
    electronic keycards, anything that might interfere with the frequency. You
    might even consider stealing a sticker and hiding it inside your wallet,
    cell phone, etc. just so if there's a TPS at the front checking receipts,
    you can wave your wallet or phone through and show that it's the culprit,
    not the DVD in your pants with the sticker removed. TPS's can not
    thoroughly search you, and if you set off the alarm and just keep on
    walking, unless an APS was about to arrest you anyways, a TPS can shout all
    they want but not stop you.
    These stickers can be peeled off pretty easily, and you can recognize them
    also by the pink underside with the square-loop-whirl of metal that makes
    the antenna. Of course, AP watches for people picking at packages and
    stickers, so hide your motion as much as you can, or just get rid of the
    package entirely during a moment you're out of camera view. And be careful
    - sometimes AP hides the stickers loose *inside* boxes, or they come
    pre-packaged that way, so you don't even know one's in there. The new rolls
    of stickers are kept locked up in the AP office until about once a week,
    when someone will go sticker all the new items on the shelves.
    Supposedly thieves have tried shielding the insides of backpacks with
    aluminum foil to prevent the tags from setting off the stands, but I can't
    tell you if this works for real or not. You might experiment by stealing
    just a sticker, taking it home, wrapping it in aluminum foil and hiding it
    inside your shoe or underwear or somewhere else not obvious, then going back
    to see if it sets off the alarm. If not, cool, break out that Reynold's
    Wrap and load up, man.

    Of lesser note in AP electronics is the AP computer, which keeps e-mail
    contact on a private intranet between all the stores, and houses files on
    every attempted and successful criminal act caught in the store. If any AP
    members witness suspicious activity, they will record their findings after
    the fact in the computer, and submit this info by e-mail to all the other
    local stores, warning them of potential thieves. (They also call a few
    local stores by phone if they scare off a thief and think they may be
    heading to another one nearby.) In these files go as much physical
    description as possible (age, weight, race, clothing), what the thief did,
    the make/model and license plate of a car if obtained, and whether or not
    they have good camera footage and face shots. If you're really desperate
    and need to steal whatever it is that day, drive about an hour away and find
    another one. Typically they only call stores within a few miles, or within
    the same general city. The farther you go, the less chance they've been
    warned. They also may store digital camera mug shots of arrested thieves in
    the computer (some less advanced stores still have Polaroids). Despite what
    a dumb cop may bold-face-lie to you, Target does *not* have facial
    recognition software in their cameras. Your picture is just for future
    reference, and the cameras will not track you by recognizing your picture.
    I actually had a cop tell a guy this once, and I was so disgusted I almost
    told the thief the truth instead. I mean, really. The APTL also uses the
    computer to track employee theft patterns and register shortages.

    Also, to touch briefly on communications - APs keep in touch with each
    other by radio, and occasionally phone. AP office numbers are almost always
    a 209, or 3209 extension inside the building. Every store employee has a
    walkie talkie with two channels on it. Channel One is for general calls and
    quick conversations, and Channel Two is for more private talk when employees
    need to explain something in detail and don't want to block out One for
    everyone else. Only on AP walkie talkies is a third channel, private for AP
    use. Frequently if an employee spots a potential crime in progress, you may
    hear the radios crackle, "AP, go to two please, AP, go to two". Once on
    Channel Two, the employee may relate what they are seeing to the responding
    AP member. In theory, they try to be private, but other dumb employees will
    also switch to Two, wanting to listen to the action. This helps thieves who
    might overhear the eavesdropping employee, and realize they're the ones
    being talked about.
    If a TPS sees something happening and wants to contact their APS, they will
    call "AP, go to three, please, AP, go to three", or the name of the person,
    i.e. "Bob, go to three please". If you ever hear the call to go to three,
    think twice about what you're doing, because you may have been spotted. If
    the APS is out on the floor and following someone, they leave their radio on
    Three, so no normal store announcements will come out of it. If a TPS wants
    to reach them then, they will go to Three on their own radio, blow gently
    for a moment, and wait for the APS to respond. On the APS end, it produces
    a soft static crackle, and if they can, the APS will get alone and call
    back. Frequently they can't because it would alert someone they're already
    following. A lot of times the TPS blows too hard, so if you're on an aisle
    and think you're alone, and you suddenly hear a crackling/blowing noise
    coming from an endcap, drop what you're doing and leave. You're probably
    already screwed.
    Some stores try to be clever and use other code names for AP, like
    "Hardware 4" or Mr. Something-or-other, to keep from alerting thieves that
    anything's wrong.
    All Target stores also have emergency codes that go over the radio and
    store speaker system. These are Red, Green and Yellow. Red is for fires,
    Green is for medical emergencies, and Yellow is for parents who've lost
    their children. Codes Red and Green will be announced three times in
    succession, with a location of where employees should respond to. Yellow
    causes all employees to stop, man every door in the store, and watch for
    potential kidnappers, while the other employees quickly search the store for
    the lost child. (A child found without a parent is not a Code Yellow, the
    store will just page the parents' name over the announcer.) These codes are
    useful for opportunity thieves, because unless a violent crime is about to
    happen, AP is required to respond to safety issues before theft ones. A lot
    of thieves will have a friend cause a fake "accident" on one side of the
    store to draw AP away from the side they're about to steal on. Of course,
    there may be enough AP members in-store to go around that day, so don't
    count on them all being away if they already know you're trying to steal.
    It's best if they have no idea you were about to do anything. Hang out in a
    totally different area, someplace harmless, like Office supplies. It's
    right next to Electronics, usually, so if you suddenly hear "Code Green,
    Grocery" over the intercom, you can instantly grab your stuff from
    Electronics and head out the door. This works best at SuperTargets, as the
    Electronics section is always right in front of the Blue Doors, while
    Grocery is all the way down the other side at the Green doors.
    (P.S. They're called the Blue and Green doors because that's what color
    they're painted on *all* SuperTargets.)
    And if you do decide to ever work with an accomplice - come in separate
    cars. Don't walk into the store together and then split up. AP will start
    watching you. And if you do the whole "accident" gag, please make sure it's
    plausible. The store will try to get you to show personal information for
    an accident report, in case you try to sue later and lie about how badly you
    were hurt. You can refuse to stay for this. Also - don't make your
    accident *so* bad that they immediately call an ambulance. You don't want
    to have to pay a few hundred in hospital bills just because you're a method
    actor, and your friend wanted a $20 DVD. The best course is probably to
    fake a fainting spell, and let an employee "wake" you back up. Stay out
    long enough to hear the Code Green being called, slowly wake up when the
    crowd arrives, and assure everyone you're okay, just a little dizzy, could I
    please have some water, but no, I don't think anything is seriously wrong.
    No, no ambulances. :)
    One more thing on communications - if you're trying something thieve-y at
    the registers, and your cashier suddenly gets a call on their phone, they've
    probably been warned you're up to something. AP does this all the time. If
    you back out and go to another register and *they* get a call? Leave. Just
    go. You're probably not going to make it out of the store with whatever
    you're trying.

    ********** On With The Show ***********

    Now down to brass tacks. What do you do when you want to steal from
    Target? How do you get away with it?
    It starts all the way out in the parking lot, when you first arrive. If
    you can, come to the store on foot. Having a car really only gives them
    another way to track you, by your license plate. Second to that, park in
    another lot nearby and walk over, out of view of the Target. Lastly, park
    as far back as you can in the Target lot, but not so far that there are
    absolutely no other cars within 50 feet of you. The farther away you are,
    though, the harder it is for them to get your plate when you're leaving in a
    hurry. The cameras do zoom, but over distance the plate will fuzz out, and
    it's hard to track a rapidly moving vehicle. Come in to the store at a
    normal, casual walking pace, paying no attention to other people around you,
    cameras, anything but being a normal shopper. Way too many thieves come in
    fast, hoping to escape notice and be out before anyone knows they were
    there, but more often this attracts attention instead.
    When you first walk in the store, pay no attention to any tan-uniformed
    people you see. The TPSs should not frighten innocent people, and will not
    pay attention to you if you don't seem to notice them. Do *not* try to be
    clever and glance out of the corner of your eye at them. This is more
    suspicious then just giving them a polite smile and walking past.
    AP personnel are programmed to watch for behaviors, not stereotypes.
    (Seriously - despite what thieves may think, they *don't care* that you're
    black, or young, or have three pounds of metal in your face. They saw you
    glancing at cameras and opening that package, you dope. *That's* why they
    arrested you.) Of course, if you're dressed all raggedy and are obviously
    in need of a fix, they're probably going to watch you anyways. It helps to
    be neatly dressed, obviously well-behaved (Goofus all you want at home, but
    be Gallant in the store), and to be with another person. Single males who
    walk in quickly, take a handbasket and go straight to a section or float
    around a general area without actually *shopping* are instantly watched.
    Having a shopping cart means you're planning to spend more time in the
    store. Having a cart and your girlfriend with you means you're probably not
    thinking about stealing.
    If you really want to mess them up? Spend a half hour, or a whole hour,
    slowly going up and down the aisles in Grocery and doing a full cart of
    shopping. They'll give up, if they suspected you at all. Go and get that
    CD you wanted as an afterthought, pull up to a front lane full of people,
    pick up the CD, abandon your cart, and walk right out the front doors. (Try
    to go to a door without a TPS guarding it, of course.) It takes time, but
    they'll never see it coming. And it's not like *you* have to reshelve all
    that stuff.
    Do *not* load up your cart full of expensive stuff no one in their right
    mind would buy all at once. Even non-AP employees will know to call you in
    if they see a cart like that. Too many thieves will stack DVD players in a
    cart, and then cruise up and down the front aisles, trying to see which door
    is unguarded. This only gives AP more time to spot you, and a TPS *can*
    stop you at the door if they clearly saw you walk right past the registers
    without paying for a cart full of stuff. If you don't have a receipt, they
    can hold you there until you either abandon the cart and leave, or go back
    to pay. Don't try the "oh, me, I can't find this darn receipt in my big ol'
    purse" thing. If you leave the cart and walk quickly out, the TPS will not
    stop you. They do not care, they have the merchandise. You get away to
    steal another day. Also, for a TPS, a big cart full of expensive stuff that
    they prevented from being stolen is a *big* bonus in their quotas. They
    don't get extra pay, but it's major kudos for stopping a high theft amount.
    They will still put a report in the computer, and probably try to find tape
    of you and record your car as you drive away, but they will never stop you
    from leaving empty-handed.
    Okay, so you've found a smaller item that you want, say a DVD. Browse
    around first. Do not walk straight in, grab the one you want, and head for
    the back of the store. Look through several, even read the back of the one
    you want, put it back, look at another, check how much money you have in
    your wallet, then slowly appear to decide on your target. This goes for
    most other items, too. If you can, have a basket full of other items, too,
    that you appeared to really shop for. Don't just toss random stuff in your
    cart as props. Honestly shop, like you normally would. Wait until you're
    shopping through an empty part of the store, and either remove the sticker
    or open the package as quickly and quietly as you can. If you know there's
    a camera dome nearby, keep your body hunched over the item, your back to the
    dome, and move your arms as little as possible. It's all in the hands now.
    A long range camera might still see you from far away, so keep your body as
    close to the shelf as possible, too. Some thieves will reach back in
    between other boxes on a shelf and open the wrapper back there, so no
    cameras can see what they're doing (although they will probably still see
    that DVD coming back out and going in your pocket). If someone suddenly
    comes on to the aisle, don't freeze, don't look, just let go and walk away.
    Continue shopping if you like, but remember, they will *never*, ever arrest
    you for attempted theft. You have to actually leave the store with items on
    you to be arrested. It's a universal law of shoplifting.
    A good place to go for opening packages might be the middle of the clothing
    section. . .the racks are just below head height, so anyone sneaking up on
    you will make themselves very conspicuous if they have to start ducking and
    crouching. If you hold the item in between two shirts hanging on a display,
    it will make it almost impossible for the cameras to see what you're doing
    (and be wary, they also do sometimes put moving cameras in the Clothing
    Say you do everything right, no one shows up. . .put the item somewhere it
    won't leave a visible bulge under your clothes. Light jackets with interior
    pockets sewn in them are great for this. Even if your jacket doesn't have
    one, just get a piece of matching-color cloth in a big square, and sew three
    sides of it to the inside of your jacket liner, under your arm, to make a
    shoplifting pocket. If your jacket has a lining, you could even just make a
    wide horizontal slit and drop things into it. This is great when you have
    something in hand, because you can lean over with the other hand and pretend
    to be getting something off a low shelf, which causes that side of your
    jacket to hang down, and your stealing hand slips the item smoothly into
    your jacket, while you still appear to only be browsing. This is better
    done with leather jackets and things that won't show an outline of the item
    easily. I used to shoplift right in front of cameras in my younger days by
    taking stuff to a magazine section, turning my back to the camera and
    leaning sideways against the shelf. My outer hand would be holding up a
    magazine to read while my shelf-side hand would be opening the package. My
    body, to the camera, did not appear to be moving at all, because I only
    moved my hand and not my arm. I would then smoothly slip the item into a
    secret pocket in my jacket, and continue reading, folding the package very
    small and hiding it behind the other magazines on the upper racks when I
    picked up a different one to "read". Of course, the magazine section in
    Target has several cameras nearby, since it's right in Electronics, so you
    may have to find somewhere else to lean.
    What if it's warmer weather, and you can't wear a jacket? Target AP will
    watch for non-seasonal clothing, i.e. people wearing too many layers in
    blazing heat, or not wearing a jacket at all in the winter. A very common
    (and surprisingly easy to get away with) theft is to walk in without a
    jacket, take one of the $100+ leather ones, slip it on, and walk right back
    out. Target will often put EAS stickers in their jackets, but it is almost
    always midway up the inside of the sleeve, probably the left one. Feel
    inside the sleeve for something square and hard, peel it out, wad it up,
    throw it away, and you can walk out without any alarm. If you're trying to
    steal in shorts and a t-shirt during the summer, it becomes trickier to hide
    things under your clothes. For guys and girls, try to slip things down the
    front of your underwear. I know it feels weird, and try not to walk funny,
    but it's the only place anything more than a few inches across will probably
    not show up. Don't just put it in your pants - it'll go straight down the
    leg and fall out. You may even want to sew a special pocket inside there,
    just for shoplifting. Some thieves will put on a pair of baggy exercise
    pants underneath their real pants, and strap them off above the knee with
    rubber bands or string to things can be dropped down the pants safely and
    won't fall out. A boxer short version of this can be made for summer days.
    Just put on your boxers, tie them off near the end around your thigh, and
    put on your real shorts over them. And a note for you schoolkids: backpacks
    and bags are not a good idea (even foil-lined ones for you experimenters).
    Any kind of bag will stand out and you will be watched until you leave the
    store. Ladies who carry purses are lucky. . .it's often very difficult for
    AP to establish that a lady actually put something in her purse, especially
    if her back was to the camera.
    A sure-fire way to guarantee messing up AP's strategy at any time is to
    duck into a bathroom or the dressing rooms in Clothing. Remember - you can
    cross the registers to the bathrooms at the front with stuff inside your
    clothing, because *it's not theft until you leave the store*. Literally.
    If AP sees you heading that way, they may send a TPS to tell people the
    restroom is closed, and force you back into the store. There is also a
    restroom at the Pharmacy, though, and chances are they won't beat you there
    first. If you do get in, though, head for a stall and stay there for a few
    minutes. A TPS or APS may follow you in, pretend to use the restroom, or
    probably just wash their hands (so they can immediately follow you back
    out). The restroom is not a good idea if you have a package you want to
    open, just if you've already got something hidden. Open it on the floor,
    hide it, go to the bathroom. Too many times APs will break the rules, and
    follow you in to the bathroom. Then they will pretend to leave by opening
    the door and letting it shut, waiting silently. You, being previously
    unaware, would then proceed to loudly open your package, thinking you're
    alone, at which point the AP will sneak over to the stall, whip the door
    open and tell you to give it up and get the hell out of their store. A good
    hard yank will pop open a restroom stall, and they don't care if your pants
    are down. This is true even if you're a little kid, because children will
    almost always take toys and stuff to the bathrooms and think they're safe in
    there. Of course, if they arrest you, you know now Target policy and can
    claim that they made illegal surveillance of you while in a private area.
    Under normal circumstances, if an AP is following all the rules, they will
    wait until you come out, send in someone to check for the stolen items you
    may have dumped or for empty packages in the toilets, paper holders, or
    trash, and then try to establish if you still have the item hidden on you or
    not. Many times this will instantly break their chain of surveillance and
    they will have to let you go. Also, if you use the Pharmacy bathroom and
    dump the wrapper in the trash, you will have a few moments to get to the
    doors while a TPS or APS will have to verify that the wrapper is there, and
    radio to the person making the apprehension. However, this still
    constitutes breaking observation, and they will probably just try to scare
    you by manning the front doors. Under very rare conditions they can call a
    DAPTL and get permission to make a bathroom apprehension, but this is almost
    never allowed. Another thing to consider - the bathrooms in SuperTargets
    are always right next to an Employees only door, usually right in front of
    their break room. Come back out, and if no one's nearby, you could duck
    right in there and run for the Employee entrance door. Careful, though, as
    sometimes AP will hide right behind that first door and watch through the
    window to see when you come out of the bathroom.
    The same goes for ducking into the changing rooms. Hide an item like a DVD
    inside a folded up pair of pants, request an item count tag from the
    attendant at the changing rooms (if they're there) and walk inside. AP
    cannot watch you from cameras while you're in there, and no cameras are near
    enough to see in. This is law. They can try to get in another booth next
    to yours and listen for packages opening, then find the empty package after
    you leave. And changing attendants will often call AP if they think someone
    is acting suspicious, or if they hear wrappers being torn. If an AP member
    ever does arrest you after you entered the bathroom, they are probably
    counting on the fact that you will be scared, and won't know that they can't
    do it. They will alter their report to say that you unconcealed the stolen
    items and reconcealed them again back out in the store after you left the
    bathroom, which is enough to arrest you on. (Of course, if you really do
    take the stuff out and then hide it again after you leave the bathroom, you
    deserve to be arrested.) Many, many times APs of all levels will fudge
    their reports to hide small mistakes they made or rules they overlooked for
    the sake of arresting someone they were sure was guilty, and other AP
    members will probably cover for them, for the greater good. Of course, they
    risk arresting someone with nothing on them, which is very bad for an AP, or
    of a fellow team member later ratting them out to an APTL, but chances are
    they'll get away with it, especially if they're working alone that day.

    ********** The Ties That Bind **********

    Now to touch more directly on AP rules. These explain why the bathroom
    trick works. An APS has many rules about when they specifically *cannot*
    make an apprehension (arrest you). More so, as I said in the intro, than
    they do about when they *can* arrest you. The odds are *always* stacked in
    an intelligent thief's favor, if they know the store policies. The stores
    are too afraid of lawsuits, and let APs know they may be fired for even only
    one false arrest, even after years of good service. They have several steps
    they have to acquire during watching you that if they lose even one of, they
    may not be able to make the arrest.
    First, they must observe you enter the area without the about-to-be-stolen
    merchandise. This rule is the most often overlooked by APSs, because
    chances are they won't know you're a thief until you're stealing something.
    Second, they have to see you select the merchandise from the shelf or
    display. They can't risk arresting you for stuff you brought in to the
    store on your own.
    Third, they have to actually see you conceal the merchandise. They are
    allowed leeway here, because you may have your back to them, but if they see
    you pick up an item, fiddle with the wrapper, and suddenly the empty
    wrapper's dropped on the shelf and the item has disappeared, they can make
    "reasonable assumptions" that you have it hidden on you. Again, someone
    watching on camera may be able to record you clearly hiding the item, and if
    it's a fellow APS, the APS on the floor will probably be okay in trusting
    their judgment. If it's a TPS on camera, the APS is not supposed to take
    their word on it, but still can if they're willing to risk accepting the
    legal blame and losing their job if they're wrong.
    Fourth, and most importantly, the APS then has to *maintain* observation of
    you so well that there is *no* reasonable doubt you still have the item on
    you. This is the hardest bit of any surveillance, because a thief with an
    item hidden knows they're a time bomb. The thief will start moving more
    quickly, trying to find a safe way out, ducking around aisles, making it
    harder for the APS to follow them. This is always a good idea for thieves.
    Moving quickly, weaving, makes it harder for visual contact to be
    maintained, and for cameras to follow you. A lot of times a thief good at
    doubling back and weaving may lose the entire AP dept, and it won't be until
    later when the tapes are reviewed that they see the thief leaving the store.
    This gives you every opportunity to dump the stuff if you feel unsafe, and
    still walk out a free person.
    Fifth and last, you then have to actually walk through the doors with the
    item still on you. All SuperTargets have double doors, and AP plays on
    this. They will always take you as soon as you pass the first set of doors,
    inside the foyer. If you haven't left the store with stolen goods, it isn't
    theft yet, no crime has occurred. APS's are always asked, "Did you have
    your Five Steps?" to determine if they actually followed the rules. There
    are lots of mitigating circumstances where they can bend the rules, but
    overall these ties bind them very tightly, and help you out enormously.
    For instance - if you place a large box under your shirt that's so obvious
    anyone can see the corners poking out, and the APS loses you during Step
    Four, but finds you again right at the doors, still poking out squarely,
    they can act on reasonable assumption that you are still stealing. Or if
    you clearly are carrying the item in your hand, not concealing it at all,
    they can ignore that rule too.
    What this also means is that at any time, if you know that you are being
    watched, or even suspect it, you don't have to hide anything. You could
    walk right up to the APS, and remove every item from your jacket, hand it to
    them, smile and walk out the door. There's nothing they can do.
    Theoretically, you could even stop at the stands, before you leave, and drop
    everything on the floor right there, wave to the camera, and go. But when
    you get near the doors, it'll be hard to prove you weren't intending to
    leave, so best to do it a ways back.
    To help your case if you do get away, try to wear glasses, a hat, and
    clothing you never intend to wear again. Alter your appearance as much as
    possible. Die your hair, even. Too many thieves get recognized by their
    signature clothing, and when you come back to steal the second time and get
    caught, they'll remember the first time.

    ********** The Rundown **********

    So let's say you've decided to go for it anyways. You know you're being
    watched, but you really want that item tucked away in your jacket. You've
    weaved and moved, but you're not sure if you lost them or not. You're near
    the front doors, and you want to act casual, but suddenly one of several
    things can go wrong.
    There may be a TPS blocking your way out. Often, if they think you'll
    spook and give up, a TPS may just walk nearby you while you're still in the
    store, glancing very obviously in your direction and making a few more
    passes as you continue. If a TPS is handling it, an APS may not even be on
    duty. Remember, a TPS can only scare you, they can't stop you. If you go
    all the way, they may stand right in front of the exit doors. If you cross
    to the other doors, they'll cross with you, either pretending not to notice
    you or staring blatantly at you. If this happens, head back out into the
    store. Get to a safe distance, and see if the TPS is following you. Lead
    them to the back of the store, and as fast as you can, don't worry about
    other customers, sprint for the front. Blast out the doors, and away. You
    never have to shop there again, you know. Or just quickly and casually
    weave until the front doors are open, then walk quickly out. They cannot
    stop you.
    You may not see anyone, but an APS may be waiting nearby for you to head
    out the doors. They will then run quietly up behind you, whip out their
    orange security badge, and shout, "Target Security!" or "Asset Protection!"
    or any combination of these with "Freeze!" They have to announce who they
    are, otherwise you can claim later you thought you were being assaulted by a
    stranger. They won't always pull out their badge, a verbal warning is
    legally enough. Be ready if you think you've outrun them, too. . .many
    times a lone APS will enlist burly, video-game-generation-violent store
    employees to wait outside the doors and trap you. These guys don't know the
    rules as well, and may just try to beat you into the ground instead of just
    subduing you.
    There's also a very important rule that Target thieves need to know - the
    Sidewalk rule. If you can make it past the sidewalk, Target is supposed to
    let you go. They can't risk the liability of chasing you into traffic and
    getting you hurt or killed by a car. Of course, if an APS has their arms
    around you, and you drag them past the sidewalk, you've just waived your
    right to the Rule. It's all just part of the fight now. This is another
    reason to be nervous of normal, non-AP employees. They may not know the
    Rule, and drag you back from the lot if they can catch you, and AP will
    probably bend the rules and fudge reports to cover. I witnessed it a few
    If you do get jumped by an APS at the door, it's best to assume there's
    backup coming. A TPS has to maintain camera footage of the actual
    apprehension starting, but the instant the APS makes contact with the thief,
    the TPS will sprint out to help. This is why the AP office is at the front,
    and exactly between both sets of front doors. Other employees and even
    customers will often run over to help. If you are going to do anything
    violent to get free, do it as soon as you know you're being attacked.
    Remember, the second doors will slow you down, no matter how fast you're
    moving. An APS will run around in front of you, so if you do try to run, it
    will probably be back into the store, where they can control you. APSs come
    in all shapes and sizes, too, from tiny little women to massive,
    bodybuilding men. And don't just assume that since they're small, you can
    overpower them. Most of the tiny women I knew at Target could beat the hell
    out of men twice their size in a few seconds. Target security are not lax
    in their fight training. They are not allowed to use their radios,
    handcuffs or anything else as weapons. They are not supposed to strike you,
    only subdue you by grappling, but if you start swinging punches, they
    probably will too, and then you have no legal excuse. You started it, and
    they *will* have tape to prove it. (Remember those fixed cameras at the
    front doors?) Other than that, all bets are off, and chances are no one
    will care if you sustain extra bruises during your capture.
    Here's a rule I would not advise you to use unless you're absolutely
    desperate: Target policy forbids AP from attempting to arrest you, or even
    coming near you, if you have a weapon. If at some point, while you're in
    the store, you very clearly display a knife or gun to the cameras, they will
    back off, and attempt to spook you into leaving. APSs will probably start
    making themselves very obvious to you, not even trying to hide anymore, just
    glaring as they walk past. *****HOWEVER*****. The instant they know you
    have a weapon, and are apparently thinking about needing it to get out, they
    may call the cops to provide backup. They will most certainly report you to
    the police even if you do leave without stealing, especially if they get
    your license plate. I would say that a smart thief should *NEVER* carry a
    weapon for something like shoplifting. It will go *way* harder for you if
    you do get arrested, and if you know the rules about being able to walk away
    whenever you want, it's just not worth it. When stealing from Target, you
    are never going to end up in a life-or-death situation. Or even a
    life-or-jail one, if you can just get yourself to dump and walk away. If
    you do want to carry something, I'd suggest pepper spray, as it's
    non-lethal, and many people would just happen to have it on them. You could
    always claim you were panicked by the sudden shout and person barreling down
    on you, and you just reacted and sprayed them. You always carry pepper
    spray for self-defense, right?
    Of course, as with every other rule, there's an exception. . .if an AP
    member is absolutely *sure* you cannot get to your weapon before they can
    drop you, they may risk their own life and try to arrest you. They will
    probably receive a stern warning later, but it's their choice. But it's
    very heavily pushed upon all APs that no item in the store is ever worth
    anyone's life. Just let them go, get video footage, report it to the
    A good idea for any thief is to consider alternative exits. Every Target
    store has several emergency exit doors located around the outer walls.
    These doors always have a Detex unit panic bar attached to them, and the
    double doors (mostly found in SuperTargets) will also have a knob-controlled
    vertical locking bar. These doors are also all hooked into the Operator's
    alarm panel in the recesses of the Employee Only area. To open a panic bar,
    you need only to push on the arm, and the door will open, setting off a
    blaringly loud alarm, so be ready to run. (Unless the batteries have run
    down, in which case it might be almost silent - hey, it's really happened a
    lot. You could also plausibly pick the main lock to open the latch, or use
    a set of Detex keys to open the casing lock and pull out the battery if you
    had time.) And there’s a magnetic switch hooked to the top of the door
    which sets off a small alarm at the Operator’s desk to let them know the
    door has been opened. They will immediately contact AP by radio if a Detex
    door is opened, and let them know which one. On the double doors, you can
    first turn the knob on the vertical bar, which will unlock it, then slam
    open the panic bar and run out. Neither of these devices can ever actually
    be really locked, because they're emergency exits. In a fire or disaster,
    they can't count on being able to get a key to them, so *anyone*, at
    *anytime*, has to be able to open them easily. This is very popular with
    kids, who know the odds of AP catching them running out an emergency door
    are slim. If you don't think you're being watched yet, you might even
    release the locking bar first before you've taken anything, and then when
    you've got the stolen goods, run at full speed, slamming open the Detex bar
    and, simultaneously, the door, and sprinting away. AP might notice it's
    unlocked, though, and set a trap for you by waiting right outside, or behind
    nearby shelves. A lot of times fixed cameras are pointed right at these
    doors because they're so popular with repeat boosters. (Oh, side note -
    anyone who has been recognized, even vaguely, as having used the fire exits
    to steal several times, even from different stores, will attract the special
    attention of those RAPTLs and DAPTLs I mentioned earlier, the Target SWAT
    team. They don't like fire exit boosters, and will specifically set traps
    just for you, boyo.)
    But, warning aside, they are a very good alternative when other doors seem
    blocked. Many thieves will even have an accomplice waiting right outside
    the emergency door in a car, so they can peel away. If AP sees a car on
    camera waiting by an exit door, though, they may come out to speak to you or
    call the police to shoo you away. Or just set traps for you. Anyways.
    There is usually a door in the sports section of the store, near the Camping
    Goods, right on an aisle. There are usually four hidden in Employee Only
    areas at the back of the store. In Grocery where the long freezer walls
    meet at the corner, there is a swinging door set. Go through these, and
    just beyond should be another emergency exit door. The same goes if you're
    along the back wall of the store, in the Domestics sections. There will be
    a large set of swinging doors, charge through these, you should see straight
    ahead of you a fire door. Also, if you follow the tall shelves of items in
    the rear warehouse area of SuperTargets, it may look like you're heading
    towards a dead end, but in between the last shelf aisles will be another
    Detex door (with no locking bar!), and beyond that, in the employee
    training/conference room, there will also be a non-bar Detex door. You risk
    employees spotting you, of course, but unless they're ignorant of the rules
    they shouldn't try to actually stop you, other than shouting "Hey!"
    If you're really bold, you could even charge into the Employees Only
    swinging doors at the front of the store (SuperTarget only), and towards the
    Employee entrance door. (It will always be right by the Operator's desk,
    and has EAS stands around it, because they don't trust employees, either.)
    You'd probably have to run past several employees, and definitely right past
    the AP office door, but once you're out, you're gone into the parking lot.

    Of course, with all this excitement and bravery, there still comes the
    gentler ways of getting out. AP, despite being well trained and on the
    ball, is only human and cannot be everywhere. They probably only spot about
    10% of the theft going on, and catch about 1%.
    Many people will try just filling up a cart with whatever they want and
    walking through the register lanes and right out the door. Out in the
    parking lot, they can load up their car at leisure. (Not quite the same as
    the cart-full-of-DVD-players I said earlier, this is just a cart full of
    different, probably not too expensive items.) Someone may have a Target bag
    from a previous purchase that still looks relatively new, pull it out of
    their pocket in the store, load up, and walk out. Some people make a small
    purchase, ask for a bag, and then head back into the store and load more
    goods into it. And there's always the most common supermarket theft in the
    world - eating candy out of the candy bins without paying for it, or "just
    one or two" grapes from the shelf. I used to take great pleasure in
    sneaking up on little fat kids stealing candy from the bins, coming right up
    behind them, and saying, basso profundo, "You gonna pay for that?" Deer in
    the headlights, every time.

    ********** When It All Comes Down **********

    Uh oh. . .you made a bad mistake, and now you're in cuffs and being taken
    to the Office to await your punishment. What do you do now?
    Let's backtrack a moment and look at the theft you made, to see where we
    can improve your chances. First - AP doesn't like to apprehend for items
    under $20, because then they can really only warn you, take the stuff back,
    put you in a report, take your picture and let you go. If you have a
    one-dollar candy bar, you could probably walk right out the door waving it
    over your head and no one would stop you. And I really mean $20. . .if
    you're even half a buck under, they'll probably let you go. But Gods help
    you if you're a penny over.
    If you don't think your chances are good when you're being arrested (i.e.
    the APS towers over you, biceps bulging), do not fight in *any* way. Calmly
    hold up your hands, palms open, and state that you surrender. Lay down on
    the floor with your hands behind your back if you want, and let them
    peacefully cuff you. I guarantee, if you're calm and don't look like you'll
    run, they won't even cuff you. They'll take you firmly by the arm to make
    sure you can't get away, though. This is a time when some thieves might try
    to suddenly attack the AP, break free and run back out the door, but the
    police will then be after you for assault. Chances are they probably got
    good enough footage of you to screw you over on that count, and there
    probably won't be just one AP holding your arm, either. The more you
    cooperate, the better they'll treat you.
    If you were dumb enough to bring a weapon, and you're now cuffed and being
    led away, clearly state, "I want you to know, I have a weapon, a (knife,
    gun, etc.) in my (right pocket, holster, etc.)" Do *not* try to remove it,
    as this might be taken as hostile action.
    When you're taken to the Office, you will be on camera the whole time
    you're in it. Don't try to make up any stories about AP beating you
    severely (unless they really did), or sexually molesting you, because AP is
    *very* good about getting everything on tape, and will be able to prove
    quickly that you're a thief *and* a liar. They also always leave at least
    one AP or store team member of the same sex as you in the office the whole
    time, to act as a witness.
    You will be sat down in a plastic chair, or in one of the new restraining
    benches being installed in most Targets. These are metal benches with a
    crossbar for attaching handcuffs, so they don't have to worry about you
    running away until the cops get there. Here's an interesting secret - the
    crossbar actually is made in two pieces, and screws together like a curtain
    rod at the center. You can't see the seam because of a support, but the bar
    can be unscrewed, and not only are you free then, you have a length of metal
    pipe for a weapon. Of course, many AP people have realized this, and taken
    the time to superglue it together. (And they will probably just have
    attached a second set of cuffs to the chain on your cuffs, and that to the
    bar, so even if you do get free, you're still cuffed behind your back. Not
    a good situation for escape.)
    Here's something to drill into your skull: please, *please* do not try the
    "I have to go the bathroom" trick. Even if you really do have to go. AP is
    not going to let you, no matter how much you whine. If they've been around,
    they will probably tell you, "That's why the chair is plastic," or, "That's
    why the bench has all those little holes in it." They're serious. Wet
    yourself right there if you want. And don't try the "Owwwww, my handcuffs
    are too tight, waaaah," thing. In a few minutes the police will be there
    and will change out their handcuffs for AP's, so you can whine all you want
    to them instead.
    Now they move on to questioning you. They will need all the personal info
    they can get from you for their reports. Name, age, ID if you've got it
    (don't bring it if you're feeling rebellious). They will want to know why
    you stole, and most of the time all they ever hear is "I don't know."
    Unless you tried to beat them up, they will be very civil and polite to you,
    and try to convince you to tell them more about what you were doing when you
    tried to steal. A *very* common line from APSs and APTLs interviewing
    thieves is, "Now we're going to try to establish your honesty, so I can tell
    the cops you're dealing fair with us. It'll go better for you. Now, I know
    everything you took. I know everything you did. And I want you to tell me,
    in detail, what you did, to see how honest you're going to be with me."
    They usually only use this line if they're missing some important gap in
    their observation of you. They will also tend to sit you down and
    immediately tell you, "I want everything you took on this desk right now.
    Everything you were going to steal." If you're cuffed, they may have to
    remove it for you. But it's definitely smart to obey them on this count at
    least. . .they're right, the police will be searching you as soon as they
    arrive, and it will be noted that you tried to lie about not having any
    other stolen goods on you. However, if you *did* take stuff under $20, and
    they haven't found it all, and you're pretty sure you're about to be let go,
    you can risk bluffing it out and still get away with something for the day's
    Overall, if you just want to get the legal stuff done with quickly and
    accept your punishment, I'd say cooperate completely. However, you are not
    required to cooperate with Target in any way. You can just say, "I'm taking
    my right to remain silent in advance," and then shut up until the cops get
    there. It's probably better this way. The cops may submit all your
    personal info back to Target later, but the less info they have on you, the
    better your chances are for stealing in the future. Don't try to lie to the
    cops, though. You can still continue to remain silent, it is your right.
    But the cops will be able to really check if you lie about your name,
    address, etc. I know this seems like common sense, but there are probably
    going to be a lot of dumb people out there who would try this.
    Another note: Target can hold you for a reasonable amount of time before
    calling the police. They could keep you in that office for a few hours if
    they wanted, pumping you about your theft.
    Honestly, I'm not sure what'll happen to you after the cops take you off, I
    never checked up. I do know that I've seen people I personally fought to
    the ground and arrested walking around free a few months later, so it can't
    be that bad.

    ********** Common Sense and Random Ideas **********

    Since I've written this whole thing from about midnight until 8 AM, my
    mind's getting fuzzy, but I wanted to finish it all in one go. So here's
    the rest of the advice and cool ideas I can offer up before I hit the sack.

    Price tag switching is a very common means of theft at any store. You can
    steal the sticker off of another, less expensive item, and lay it over the
    item you want. Hopefully the cashier will not notice, or you might even
    find a slightly crooked friend already working at that store who's willing
    to overlook it. Some crooked cashiers will attach stickers to their
    forearms or watch, so when their friend comes through the line at a
    pre-decided time, they can simply swipe their own arm across as each item
    goes pass, ringing up the same price every time. This will be very obvious
    if AP ever reviews the transactions by computer, but otherwise is a great
    way to help your friends steal. Tech-savvy thieves can also try printing up
    their own sticker labels at home by buying an item with a low price,
    scanning the image of the barcode into their home computer, and printing
    them up on adhesive backed paper, available at any office supply store.

    When cutting open a totally sealed package, don't rip it with your bare
    hands. This makes way too much noise, and is very noticeable on camera.
    Bring along a sharp exacto knife or box cutter, and slice as much as you can
    around the item inside. If you can cut it completely away so that no
    bending or ripping of the package has to occur to get it out, all the
    better. A lot of tricksters will pay cash for a DVD, take it home, and very
    carefully open the bottom part of the clear wrapper. They remove the box,
    take out the DVD, and carefully slide the box back inside the wrapper, then
    reseal it with clear glue. Sometimes they might use a cheap, throwaway CD
    or blank CD-ROM to replace it for correct weight. Take it back to the same
    store, and return it for your money back (they only make you
    exchange-for-the-same if the package has been opened). Your crime will
    probably go undiscovered until the next person buys it off the shelf and
    brings it back to complain. (Pay with cash so you leave no trail of
    yourself, just in case.)

    Box stuffing is another common means of theft. Select a very large box
    (say a baby stroller), open it up, and stuff lots of small, inexpensive
    items into it, then tape it back up (bring your own tape). The cashier
    rings up the big box, you pay for it, take it home, and empty out your
    goodies. You can even return the big box item the next day and get your
    money back.

    Don't waste time on small potatoes. Sure, you could steal that DVD today.
    Or you could steal a $100 jacket, sell it on Ebay, and buy five DVDs

    If you ever find a receipt from Target on the ground or in the trash
    somewhere, and it doesn't look horribly mangled or dirty, see if there's
    anything expensive on it paid for by cash or check. (Make sure it's for a
    previous day if it's by check, so they can't just say, Oh, here's your
    check, we'll just tear it up.) You can then walk into the store, grab that
    same item off the shelf, take it to Guest Services and "return" it for the
    cash. If you can ever get your hands on a roll of real receipt tape from
    Target, you could scan in a real receipt from a minor purchase, and alter it
    according to match more expensive items, then print it out yourself. Brand
    new is much better than trash receipts. Of course, AP watches for people
    doing this, and you may not even realize you have the whole dept. casually
    waiting around you at the desk, looking just like customers. I suppose you
    could also just buy entirely blank receipt tape of the same texture and size
    from an office supply, and scan both the front and back of the receipt,
    printing up new ones all your own. However, be forewarned that since they
    keep computer-cash register records, they can instantly bring up your
    previous transaction, and see that the receipt doesn't match, or doesn't
    exist at all. This is why it's better to just use found receipts, or if you
    find a dirty, mangled, receipt, print up a shiny new one with the exact same
    info on it.

    AP also watches specifically for people waiting in cars right outside the
    front doors. Thieves will have their buddies wait for them in case they
    come out running, so they can peel away. This is stupid, because Target
    won't chase you into the parking lot. Just have your friend park way back
    in the lot, and run out to them. Or, as suggested earlier, come entirely on
    foot, and leave the same way so there's no way to identify you.

    If for some reason you ever think about robbing Target's Guest Service desk
    (beats me why, it's right out in the open and all), don't fall for their
    Robbery Fund. It's a plastic clear bag with wads of cash inside it labeled
    "$2000" on each wad. It's really a load of ones with big bills around it.
    (I don't think it's an ink-pack or tracker, just a sucker batch to make you
    think you got more than you really did.)

    If you're one of those ridiculous drug thieves that likes to steal Sudafed
    for your suppliers, keep in mind that Target will let you actually buy three
    boxes at a time, with no problem. APs don't mind buyers, but when a
    jittery, obvious junkie comes in and starts dumping boxes and boxes of
    Sudafed into a handbasket, they are definitely going to be waiting for you
    at the doors.

    The AP offices will always have a spare handcuff key somewhere, probably
    hanging on the wall, and a door that has to be opened from the inside
    (meaning no one else can come in from the outside without their own key).
    The ceiling is usually a false lowered ceiling, which means a person could
    push up the acoustic tile, climb onto the wall structures and make their way
    carefully to another room, climb quickly down and run for it.

    Do not ever act nonchalant, then suspicious when you think you're alone,
    then nonchalant again when you see a person walk by. This is what AP is
    hoping to see you do. The best thieves will appear casual and like they
    don't even notice that they *are* stealing while they're doing it. If you
    can open a package while moving around a corner, even better. Corners are
    your friends, as they momentarily break surveillance of you as the APS
    follows or the camera view has to be switched. If you need to conceal or
    dump, do it on the move, preferably the instant after you turn a corner.

    At some Targets (the plain Targets), ceiling mirrors will be installed over
    some high-theft aisles. APSs will carry small hand mirrors covered by a
    magazine or other item, and look down into their mirror, which reflects the
    ceiling mirror, and shows them what you're doing in the next aisle over.
    For some reason most thieves never look up into these mirrors. They
    probably think they're hiding cameras or something. Even without a hand
    mirror, an APS can simply pretend to be shopping the top shelf, and glance
    upwards directly at the ceiling mirror. If you start to head down the
    aisle, they will pace you in the opposite direction, moving around the
    endcap right as you do, watching you in the mirror, and you may never even
    know they're there. They also sometimes will push along a cart with a large
    mirror in it, turned at a sideways angle so they can see down an aisle
    they're walking past just before they themselves actually come into view.

    If you ever see someone up on a hydraulic lift repairing cameras or moving
    camera domes, do not assume it's just a janitor. Only AP touches the
    cameras and domes, and they now have a bird's eye view of you.

    The best time of day to steal is probably the instant the store opens in
    the morning. TPSs working solo shifts have to make the rounds of the store,
    and take a tally of all the high-theft items on a clipboard. This keeps
    them in a predictable pattern of movement, as they generally make one big
    circle around the store, and they won't be in the office watching the
    cameras. Many shifts are covered completely alone by a TPS or APS with no
    backup at all. Every store usually has only one or two APSs, and at least
    three or four TPSs that come on different shifts. At store closing, the
    main lights will be shut off, and the doors manned by regular employees so
    that no one new comes in, but the last people in the checkout lane may get
    out. The TPSs have to make the rounds with the inventory clipboard again at
    closing, so this would also be a good time to steal, although it increases
    the chance there will be another AP member somewhere in the store or
    watching cameras. The TPS will check in Pharmacy, for drugs and razors,
    through a lot of aisle for empty packages, the radar detectors, GPS units,
    and anything else being watched for high theft.

    To sum it all up, the best things you can do for yourself are:
    - Come on foot, or park out of view of the store.
    - Pay attention to your "shopping". Only lifters watch other shoppers.
    - Be casual. Don't look up, or around.
    - Once loaded, move fast, and weave.
    - Use alternate exits if you don't feel safe.
    - Pay attention to radio announcements from nearby employees.
    - Hit the bathrooms or changing room to screw them up.
    - TPS's by their own lonesome cannot stop you. But they may have backup.
    - Try to keep it as far under $20 as you can if you think you'll be caught.
    - If all else fails, drop the stuff in very plain view, and leave.

    Good luck to all the up-and-comers out there. I hope this tutorial was as
    entertaining and informative as the disclaimer says it was. Again, I accept
    no responsibility if you actually act on any of this info, and it's your own
    damn fault if you get caught. I apologize if I forgot to mention anything,
    you'll just have to figure it out on your own. And there's always the
    chance that after a few months from this tutorial's release, they'll find
    out about it, freak out, and change everything. But, life is an adventure.
    Just think slow, follow the guidelines, and you'll be right on Target.
    Peace, cheers, and I'm out.

    - Xap
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    #1 AlwaysLost, Mar 16, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
  2. CelticWanderer

    CelticWanderer Celebrated Poster

    Jan 1, 2011
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    hypothetically if I needed some food real bad that would be an easy grab right? Obviously be aware of the surroundings but still.
    Does security even really care about packs of tortillas and tuna?
    • Like Like x 1
  3. OP

    AlwaysLost Failed Adventurer
    StP Supporter

    Oct 16, 2016
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    Hypothetically you are right but in that situation I would try to acquire food from a grocery store where you are less likely to be facing a large security team. There are usually more blind spots in the CCTV as well. Most towns have food pantries though I'd explore other options first. Risking jail for a little bit of food...

    Id almost rather tell a manager that I was starving and see if there was any old food about to be thrown out or go to a restaurant and offer to wash dishes for food. Usually human kindness will kick in. Spanging in front of restaurant s downtown usually gets me a few meals.

    Personally I would recommend only stealing for profit or essentials, just make sure to keep it below ny felony amounts. The only thing Ive lifted lately were some thermal socks, couldn't afford them and i couldn't sleep without them.
  4. CelticWanderer

    CelticWanderer Celebrated Poster

    Jan 1, 2011
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    yeah, thats all true, I know at sams club we would throw away literally entire display boxes just full of bread or pies or whatever. Sad as fuck. Heh, here in a Augusta you usually get the boot for doin anything bummy in front of bussiness, glad I'm getting out of here soon.
    Do restaurants still do the work for food thing? I've never tried it, seems like theres too much red tape these days for such things.
    Thermal socks are a gift from the gods, I'm always sure to keep a pair dry and clean on me for sleeping.
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  5. OP

    AlwaysLost Failed Adventurer
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    Oct 16, 2016
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    I haven't tried it in years. It used to work all the time though. Times may have changed though. In the old days I'd just walk along downtown mass and ask who needed a busser that night. Paid cash and a free meal.
  6. DuHastMich

    DuHastMich Appreciated Participator

    Jan 20, 2014
    Kokomo, Indiana, United States
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    Man, have they ever.

    Although this guide is pretty comprehensive, make no mistake: Loss Prevention personnel at Target are demons from hell. Seen them tackle an older guy over some pickle loaf and cheese.

    Remain vigilant at all times when boosting. If working in pairs, ALWAYS work opposite ends of the store and do not acknowledge knowing each other - try entering the store 3 to 4 minutes apart.
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  7. OP

    AlwaysLost Failed Adventurer
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    Oct 16, 2016
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    Yeah I'm not sure I'd want to try Target but I think the general tips are still good for places with lower security.
  8. Matt Derrick

    Matt Derrick StP Founder, Admin, and travel addict
    Staff Member Admin

    Aug 4, 2006
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    Could the OP post a link to the original article?
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  9. OP

    AlwaysLost Failed Adventurer
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    Oct 16, 2016
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    I added it at the top sorry bout that
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