To Curb Warehouse Theft, Amazon Turns on the TV

Stories of those caught highlighted on flat screens at warehouses
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 13, 2016 11:12 AM CDT
To Curb Warehouse Theft, Amazon Turns on the TV
   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

Big Brother is on the job at Amazon. And the online retailer, in an effort discourage internal theft, wants workers to know it. To that end, Amazon has installed flat-screen TVs at some of its warehouses for the purpose of sharing the stories of employees who have been caught stealing, Bloomberg reports. Offenders, who aren't mentioned by name, are represented by black silhouettes accompanied by "terminated" or "arrested." With the silhouettes are details of the alleged crime, such as what an employee stole (anything from a lighter and Pop Rocks to jewelry and an iPad), how much it was worth, and how they stole it (changing a shipment's address, for instance, or through more basic shoplifting). In some warehouses without flat screens, the theft stories are tacked to bulletin boards or taped to the wall.

"With warehouses full of small but valuable items and a workforce with high turnover and low pay," theft is a constant concern for Amazon, writes Josh Eidelson. One former Amazon warehouse employee calls the theft stories "offensive," saying, “That’s a weird way to go about scaring people.” But a security expert tells Bloomberg that what Amazon is doing isn't so farfetched. “You’re always trying to influence that middle group by reminding them there is a high probability they will get caught," he says. Amazon is already known for its zealous anti-theft efforts. The company, which employs more than 90,000 workers in 50 fulfillment centers, already requires employees to walk through metal detectors as they clock out, Business Insider reports. (More stories.)

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