RIBBLE: This week, we're heading
to Economy Candy in New York City,
and we're gonna see if stealing from Economy Candy
is as easy as stealing from a baby.
Oh! You're going to jail.
Jail for gummy bears?
RIBBLE: We're gonna see if our solutions
can prevent these stolen sweets
from leaving a cavity in the store's profits.
McDONALD: We just need to talk about what's in your purse.
Um, I don't know.
RIBBLE: No, no, no.
McDONALD: Every year, retailers lose over $13 billion
in stolen merchandise.
And food retailers are one of the biggest victims.
That's where we step in.
RIBBLE: Companies actually pay us to steal from them.
This is what we got.
We go in undercover,
we find the security breaches, and we catch the crooks.
Do you understand this is theft?
You can go to jail.
Our techniques may be strange.
But our clients know we can get the job done.
-- Captions by VITAC --
Closed Captions provided by Scripps Networks, LLC.
McDONALD: This week, we're on our way to Economy Candy.
RIBBLE: This is a landmark on the East Side of New York
that sells every kind of candy that you can imagine.
From bulk candy to expensive chocolate
to vintage bubblegum machines worth hundreds of dollars.
If it's sugary sweet, it's been sold there.
Last year, they lost over $10,000 in merchandise
due to shoplifting.
RIBBLE: Father and son owners Jerry and Mitch
say they see people stealing right in front of their noses.
But by the time they go to do something about it,
they're out the door.
RIBBLE: We're so excited to be here.
It's a candy land.
A candy museum.
So it's family-owned, huh?
So, tell us a little bit about your store.
The store started in the '30s as a shoe store.
They used to sell candy over-the-counter.
Depression came in the '30s, and little by little,
they started selling more candy than shoes.
So why'd you call us?
MITCH: We have a problem with shoplifting.
It's a very vulnerable store,
and everything is there for the taking.
Whether you're taking a 99-cent Hershey Bar
or if you're taking a $5 box of chocolates off the shelves,
at the end of the day, it all adds up.
We have caught people with upwards of $40 of stuff.
If you think about it,
$40 a day in the course of a year,
I hope to pass this on to my kids some day,
and in order for that to happen,
we have to be able to stay in business.
And if our shrinkage is very high,
we're not gonna be able to do that.
RIBBLE: We're up to the task.
We're gonna try and rip you off.
We're gonna provide Economy Candy
with a full security assessment
to help them deter future theft.
In phase 1, we'll go undercover into the store
to try and figure what their security issues are.
In phase 2, we'll use our hidden cameras
to catch actual thieves in action.
In phase 3, we'll provide some great solutions
to help the owners prevent future thefts.
A few weeks later, we'll re-test the store
to see if our solutions are working.
My theft is a partial pay.
It's basically a shoplifter's alibi.
They try and make themselves look like a legitimate customer
by paying for a "few items" when in reality,
they're getting out with a whole lot more.
Are you a love child?
Hey, this is my casual New York look.
I got some different options here
for where I'm gonna put stuff.
Kind of to cover what I'm doing,
I'm just gonna pay for a couple of things.
This is easy.
I don't think you got what it takes.
Only the owners know that we're here.
The employees have no idea.
I'm gonna be in the surveillance room,
and I'm gonna watch what Connie does.
This is an amazing store, but I notice two things.
It is tight, and it is crowded,
which makes it a playground for shoplifters.
It has so many blind spots.
Will anybody notice me?
Connie's coming in like a typical customer.
How far away are you guys?
She's pretending she's on her phone.
So if it's an employee and they see her on her phone,
they don't want to come up
and ask her if they can help her,
because they don't want to interrupt her.
Ooh, these are good.
I was eating all kinds of stuff.
Several employees in there,
no one asked if I paid for it.
They have these ginormous cola bottles.
I felt this little girl watching me sample,
and I wanted to say to her,
"Wait, I'm one of the good guys."
Eating on the job as usual.
Hey, I paid for those.
What an awesome bag!
I can't wait for you guys to see this stuff.
I'm gonna get these.
Partial pay is common for thieves.
Everyone assumes they paid for everything
when, in fact, they've got hidden stuff.
In their minds, they paid for something,
and they're entitled to the rest of it.
Looks like she's about done.
She's heading out the door, and...
There is big bags of candy within feet of the front door.
I literally just grabbed one,
put it in my arms and walked out the door.
That's a little surprising.
Okay, so check this out.
You got new teeth!
These are only $2.16.
Okay, it was funny, Scott!
I mean, geez.
First of all, I'd like to tell you that I quit.
I got 12 at $5 each.
Okay, this one's for you.
"Get Along with your Co-workers."
Oh, forget that.
Get along with your co-workers, Scott.
How much is this?
[ Laughs ] Yeah. I just grabbed it on my way out.
So, how much did you get?
You've got to be kidding me.
You're a little old for a scooter.
I'm doing a grab-n-go.
If Connie was able to steal a good amount of candy
while paying for some of it,
I'm pretty sure I can steal more than she did
and pay for none of it.
I'm gonna see how much I can get away with.
That's an awfully big bag.
I'll bet you I can probably get at least $300, $400.
Yeah. Good luck with that.
Again, I'll show you up.
Go on, ma'am.
Don't break something.
Hold on tight.
McDONALD: The whole idea with the scooter is it gives me a quick getaway.
Thieves do that.
And so now he's starting to conceal,
and it doesn't look like any of the employees
are paying any attention.
McDONALD: They got bulk packages
of chocolate just sitting around.
You know, a single piece doesn't cost a whole lot of money,
but, when they put it in a whole box,
we're talking about $60 to $70 per box.
That's an expensive loss.
He's loading up.
I'm grabbing the big PEZ as I leave the place.
He's gonna walk right out with that PEZ dispenser
right in front of an employee.
The grab-n-go proved that I was able to take
a large amount of candy in a short amount of time
without anyone paying attention to me.
[ Laughs ]
You're such a dork.
You want to see what I got?
All right. Let's see it.
$72 in chocolate?!
Oh, my gosh.
Spicy dark chocolate.
That is hilarious.
And then, for your breath, wasabi gumballs.
You know how much I got out of that store?
Over 400 bucks.
Now that we've identified some key weaknesses,
it's time to see if we can steal something big.
I asked my friend in the city
if her girls could help me out.
I got the girls!
Now there's a distraction.
And I also have a whole bouquet of balloons.
I mean, it's like a double distraction.
I'm gonna get the employees to pay attention to me
while Scott tries to get something big
out of the store.
I'm going after the vintage bubble-gum machine.
If you see Scott in the candy store,
you pretend like you don't know him.
Remember, girls, this is just pretend.
We know that shoplifting is bad, right?
My mission is to go in with the girls
and just distract the employees
so Scott can get to that gumball machine
in the back of the store.
Girls, please be quick about it, all right?
Girl: We should get some of these! And these!
McDONALD: I see a ladder in the middle of the store.
I figure, you know what?
I'm gonna use that to climb up
to get that antique bubblegum machine in the back.
How are you gonna get a ladder past everybody without noticing?
I can just quietly carry it.
I don't make a lot of noise.
It's a ladder.
I'm on the prowl.
You don't have children, do you?
[ Laughing ] I have a little girl.
Oh, God. Just stay with one. Seriously.
[ Clacks ]
McDONALD: Oh [bleep]
As I'm setting it up, it creaks.
Uh, how much is that?
RIBBLE: We're at Economy Candy in New York City,
and we're in Phase 1 of our undercover operation.
[ Clacks ]
And Scott got caught.
How much is that?
The what? How much is it?
I got to get out of here. I got to move.
Yeah, okay. Thanks.
The kid in the white T-shirt -- Who the [bleep] was he?
How would anybody know he was even an employee?
The employees were paying attention to what I was doing.
They prevented me from getting out with it.
Now, don't play with the open stuff, all right?
I'm thinking we're not getting out with anything,
and then I remember those girls are still
loading up that whole basket with candy.
GIRL: I just really want Butter Ball. Butter Ball's so yummy.
No. We're not gonna do that.
So, I'm thinking, what if I just leave it here.
Oh, sorry. Am I in your way?
I have these freakin' balloons.
If the girls and I can keep the staff distracted...
It's so hot outside.
Scott would have a couple minutes
to try and regroup.
And we were supposed to have this party at the park.
It's way too hot.
Now I'm having to rearrange everything.
McDONALD: So, as the employees scattered,
I looked at it as a great opportunity
to try to grab that basket.
RIBBLE: Sorry. I'm trying not to pop them.
McDONALD: The distractions worked.
It wasn't planned that way, but that's okay,
because we can make things happen on the fly.
Who would've thought?
Hey, we did it.
You loaded that basket up nice.
It's at least $300.
The front of the store is a huge vulnerability.
There's nothing to draw the employees' attention
to what's going on at that door.
Couldn't do the gum-ball machine.
Your cockiness caught up with you.
I can't help it if they've got all these employees
protecting one thing in the store.
Girls, we got to go meet with the client.
We're gonna gather everything that we took out of the store,
and we're gonna go show the client
so the client can see what we got away with today.
I think they're gonna be surprised.
Don't let go. They'll go away.
You can't have this.
I'm gonna buy it.
I told her I'd get her something.
God, you're so mean.
I am not mean.
We were in three times today.
JERRY: You're scaring me.
I don't want to scare you.
I don't want to scare you, but we want to show you
some of the stuff that we got out with.
Please, we're not trying to add insult to injury.
I mean, this is like a visual thing
for you to understand how much you can get out of this store.
I've been looking for those.
MITCH: You got the insurance papers.
That's some haul.
Think we'd be able to get out with this much stuff?
Not those big items.
No, not these items.
McDONALD: We stole almost $850 out of your store.
What do you think?
I know things happen, but not in that degree.
MITCH: Yeah, you expect the small things.
RIBBLE: With the amount of people
that you had in and out of this store all day long,
if 10% of your customers stole one item
every time they came in here, man, it adds up quickly.
So, tomorrow, we're gonna see
if we can catch a few shoplifters.
We could always use the help.
All right, we'll see you tomorrow.
The next phase of our operation
is we're gonna watch from hidden cameras
and see if we can catch some shoplifters in action.
Scott's out on the sales floor,
and we're gonna see what we can find.
Even with the great camera coverage we have,
it's hard to see everything sometimes,
'cause everybody gets so bunched up.
Are you watching Ponytail?
He's up at the very front now.
Yeah, I see him.
Girlfriend is over here. She's paying.
Why is he selecting and she's paying?
I don't know.
All right, he's paying.
Guy's in a tank top
and the lady's got a big black bag.
This dude is ripped.
God, this is tough. The store's packed.
One of the problems with this location
is the aisles are so narrow
and the merchandise is stacked so high,
the employees can't see anything.
He just went into back pocket on the back aisle.
Did you get that?
There were blind spots everywhere.
Very easy to steal.
They're going out the door right now.
RIBBLE: Hi there. How you doing?
You've got some unpaid-for merchandise.
McDONALD: Hey, hey. How you doing?
Hang on just a second.
McDONALD: Hey, hey.
RIBBLE: Hang on a second.
You got some unpaid-for merchandise.
MAN: I don't know what you're talking about.
Yeah, well, we're gonna talk about it inside.
McDONALD: We're not there to prosecute these shoplifters.
We're there to find out
where the vulnerabilities are for this store.
RIBBLE: But sometimes you do have an opportunity
to kind of "scare" these young people straight.
Do either of you have I.D.?
I hope you say yes, or you're going to jail.
Jail for gummy bears?
It's more than just gummy bears.
That young couple almost walked out of here
with almost $25 in stolen merchandise.
That really adds up.
You know, this store's trying to stay in business.
There are employees who have jobs here
that you guys are putting at stake.
I'm really sorry.
You will be required to pay a fine
for the crime that you committed.
You need to think about your actions. You're an adult.
You're responsible for everything that you do.
All right. Let's get this candy back to the owners.
The guy in the black hat right behind you has got,
like, about 20 Cadbury eggs.
And he's paying for them.
Scott, we have a lady.
She's got, like, what?
Four or five items in her left hand.
What concerns me is that she has a basket,
so there's no reason for her
to be hanging on to merchandise in her hands.
Can you get a visual?
I got her.
Everything just went into her purse, Scott.
There's kind of a lot of employees up there.
I notice that the employees
all wear different colored shirts.
They don't have anything identifiable on.
I'm gonna come out.
EMPLOYEE: $3.25 okay?
RIBBLE: She did exactly what I had done -- a partial pay.
She paid for a couple of her items.
She got out with a whole lot more than what she paid for.
How you doing? We're store security.
We just need to talk about what's in your purse.
Just need to come back in the store, okay, with us,
and we'll talk about it back there.
Um, I don't know --
No, no, no, no. You got to stay here.
You got some unpaid-for merchandise in your bag,
so we're gonna talk to you about that, all right?
McDONALD: Have you taken from here before?
It's just candy. I didn't think it was stealing.
Nowadays, someone can go to jail
for stealing a candy bar quite easily.
'Cause there's some cities
that have zero tolerance of crime of any sort.
If this happens again, there's a very, very good chance
you're gonna end up in jail.
Are you gonna tell my boyfriend about this?
I don't know who your boyfriend is,
so that would be a no.
RIBBLE: You know, we've learned a lot
about the shoplifting activity in this store.
We need to meet with Jerry and Mitch
and educate them on how to put an end to this.
Hey, how you doing?
RIBBLE: Today we're meeting with Jerry and Mitch
and some of their employees.
We're gonna show them some video of our heists
and point out what their weaknesses are
that allowed us to get out
with so much of their merchandise.
So, I want to show you a couple of clips
and see what you think.
Oh, my God.
The front of the store, girls.
I hope you're picking up on what goes on.
Who was up front doing the --
It was you doing the candy.
Right in front of me.
How much is that?
Thanks for catching Scott.
McDONALD: Oh, but wait. There's more.
Oh, my God.
Yeah, that's painful.
Pretty bad, huh?
That is bad.
I would have neither thought you or the little girls.
The most unsuspected group of shoplifters
are middle-aged women with children.
Challenge your assumptions.
I feel like I'm not doing my job now.
You guys have a lot of challenges in this store.
Our goal is to find real solutions.
Let's go downstairs, and we'll show you
the solutions we've come up with.
RIBBLE: Our goal is to provide Jerry and Mitch
with a lot of small deterrent ideas
that will help them reduce their overall losses.
RIBBLE: What I've purchased for you guys
is a fourplex digital video recording system
that lets anybody in the store know you are on film, okay?
The monitor will be mounted behind the counter
so people can see themselves
when they are walking in the store.
Areas we want to capture are the areas of the store
that are the most difficult to see.
And we're gonna mount one of these lovely little cameras
right over your door.
So everybody who walks out,
their face is being captured on film.
That's a deterrent.
We're gonna try it.
One of the big challenges at the store
was somebody grabbing and running.
So, what we'd like to do is get you guys
an old-fashioned shopkeepers bell
that will allow you to know
when people are coming in and out.
JERRY: I think that's a great idea.
We need your employees to stand out.
What I would like you to do -- turn around for me --
is put "May I help you?"
Clearly an employee.
If a potential shoplifter
does not think that they're being watched,
that's when they're gonna take the opportunity.
McDONALD: Colors mean something to people.
And with orange, it stands out for your customers.
They see it -- pop. They know who works here.
The other thing about orange -- It helps with people's appetite.
They want to eat.
[ Chuckles ]
So, they are more likely to buy more product.
I would have never thought about that.
I hope that some of these solutions
end up being a benefit for you guys
so that you're here for generations to come.
[ Laughter ]
You're not gonna believe what just happened.
I ripped off the store again.
McDONALD: Oh, my God.
My grandmother's got pants like that.
I was gonna walk past and see if you'd recognize me,
but I figured you'd recognize Morelli.
What are you supposed to be?
I'm like a Manhattan socialite.
I'm like a Park Avenue diva.
The last phase of this operation
is for me to go back to the store,
and we're gonna see if our solutions are working.
What I'm hoping more than anything
is that the employees are noticeable.
we couldn't tell the employees from the customers.
Hopefully they listened to what we told them,
and they've fixed it.
Are you ready to go?
I expect to see candy in that bag.
Well, hopefully you won't.
I'm going back in as a potential shoplifter
to see if I'd be discouraged from trying to steal.
[ Bell jingles ]
Hi. Oh. Thank you. Hello.
The security system looks great.
Nice. Those T-shirts really stand out.
This is cute.
I'm gonna see if I can steal this.
Oh, I'm good. Thank you very much.
This definitely doesn't feel
like an easy place to steal from anymore.
Thanks. I should be right back.
[ Bell jingles ]
"Smile. You're on camera." That's cute.
Oh, well. We tried.
Let's go meet the owners.
RIBBLE: Good to see you! Hi!
Well, you're not gonna believe what just happened.
I ripped off the store again.
[ Laughs ]
One gumball. That was it.
You guys are on the ball.
You guys were happy with the results?
We have had, you know, kids come in after school.
They hear the bell, they get a little startled.
You ask them, "Can I help you?", and they're like, "Uh, uh,"
see the security monitor, and they leave.
How about your employees?
JERRY: They're more aware of what's going on in the store.
It woke them up to the fact that there are people
that walk into the store that do want to steal.
Who doesn't want the best candy in New York?
Got to pay for it.
I was really happy working with Scott and Connie.
They really came out with some very good ideas.
Things are just running smoother.
I can sleep at night in knowing that the transition
will be a lot easier over to the new generation.
We wish you the very best of luck.