Short Answer: Lowe’s uses surveillance cameras and dedicated asset protection staff in addition to working with local law enforcement to prevent and report shoplifting. For more details about the Lowe’s security policies and asset protection staff, see below.
Lowe’s Shoplifting Policy
Lowe’s uses video monitoring and works with local law enforcement to resolve incidents of shoplifting, representatives from Lowe’s corporate customer service department said. Some high-risk items are also equipped with electronic security tags. There may be other anti-theft measures in place, but Lowe’s does not publicize the full details of its shoplifting policy; the company doesn’t want potential shoplifters to exploit the information, a customer service representative said.
Specific consequences for shoplifters could also not be disclosed, but Lowe’s does prosecute shoplifters who are found guilty. Depending on the state and the value of merchandise stolen, shoplifting can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.
Asset Protection Staff
Lowe’s hires asset protection agents and managers who, among other things, are responsible for monitoring, investigating, and deterring criminal activities, as well as occasionally responding to violent altercations in stores. These employees monitor both customer and employee behavior in the store and on surveillance footage. The main responsibility of asset protection employees is to minimize loss while ensuring a safe shopping and working environment.
Asset protection staff, as well as select others trained in theft deterrence, are often authorized to apprehend shoplifters (in accordance with all federal, state, and local laws) if they directly witness the incident. If an authorized employee witnesses an incident and apprehends a shoplifter, they must provide a report of the incident to law enforcement.
Many employees are not authorized to apprehend shoplifters or call the authorities, but are instead required to report incidents to management. When an incident isn’t directly witnessed and can’t be resolved immediately, security footage is used to investigate and create a report.
Lowe’s asset protection employees used to be responsible for checking receipts at store exit points in areas noted for high inventory loss, but the retailer stopped this practice in 2018 after facing criticism about customer profiling.
For information about security procedures at another home improvement store, you can check out our article on The Home Depot’s shoplifting policy. Our article about Target’s loss prevention policies has more information about state shoplifting laws, fines, and jail time.