Protecting Store Employees and Patrons with ALTO’s Last-Mile Solution
May 8, 2024
Miranda Reyes

A recent study by Motorola Solutions has uncovered a concerning rise in violent shoplifting incidents, with a more than one-third increase in the past year alone. 88% of retailers have experienced a surge in aggressive behavior from shoplifters, underscoring the urgent need to protect store employees. These individuals, who serve as the backbone of daily operations and the face of the retail sector, are increasingly at risk. It’s becoming more imperative to implement strategies that ensure accountability and deter criminal activities, safeguarding both employees and customers.

In response to the escalating issue, ALTO spearheads a solution at the crucial final stage of AP strategies. This involves analyzing incident data, forming strategic partnerships with local law enforcement and community stakeholders, and actively advocating throughout the judicial process to ensure retail crime is held accountable effectively. This is demonstrated through the below case studies in Milwaukie, OR, and South Florida, where ALTO’s effectiveness in mitigating threats to store teams was proven through holding these individuals accountable for their actions, improving the safety of in-store staff and the wellbeing of communities.

Violent Altercation in Milwaukie, OR Leads to Arrest and Sentencing

In November 2023, an individual entered an ALTO-partnered retail location in Milwaukie, OR and began yelling profanities at store customers and creating a disturbance. Despite the efforts of staff who asked him to leave, the individual became more hostile and physically confronted a store manager. After intimidating the team, knocking over displays, and throwing merchandise at store employees, he brandished a knife and escalated his threats to those inside the store before escaping.

Following this incident, multiple store employees reported fear and apprehension about the offender’s potential return and the threat he posed to their safety. The ALTO team actively collected evidence and facilitated communication between the store team, AP team, law enforcement, and the judicial system throughout the subsequent process.

The offender was apprehended shortly after identification by law enforcement. ALTO was present at his hearing in December 2023, just over a month after the incident, where he was given a jail sentence with probation, a ban from the store, and ordered to complete substance abuse treatment. The successful outcome was achieved through effective coordination with law enforcement, communication with the store team, and the advocacy of ALTO’s legal team during the process.

During his sentencing, the individual offered numerous and extensive excuses for his dangerous behavior, none of which swayed the judge, who was impacted by the store team’s victim statements presented by the ALTO legal team.

Persistent Pursuit for Justice in South Florida

In January 2023, the ALTO team was quickly alerted to an incident at one of their partner stores in Miami-Dade, South Florida, where a repeat offender armed with a weapon attacked the store’s manager during a robbery. The ALTO legal team swiftly partnered with the corporate asset protection team and reached out to the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD), providing essential information and evidence gathered by ALTO. They informed the investigating detective that this incident was part of a broader series of crimes spanning multiple jurisdictions. This led to the prompt arrest and identification of the suspect.

Following the arrest, ALTO collaborated with detectives from Hialeah and Miami Gardens, sharing case details to coordinate efforts across the affected jurisdictions. At the bond hearing, ALTO’s staff attorney presented evidence of the suspect’s involvement in other crimes, resulting in him being held without bond. ALTO was present at each of the case’s hearings, and ensured the case’s severity was accurately conveyed throughout the process.

Ultimately, the case was resolved on April 11, 2024. The store team had expressed apprehension about the legal process and were relieved to not have to testify in court. The defendant had ignored previous opportunities for a second chance after another armed offense in 2012. Facing a slew of new charges, the offender received sentencing enhancements due to the gravity of his actions, leading to a sentence of 30 years in prison followed by 15 years of probation. 

ALTO’s Dedication To Safer Retail Landscapes

In the face of unprecedented challenges to store safety in today’s evolving landscape, addressing retail crime comprehensively—from incident to legal resolution—is crucial for effective mitigation and deterrence. ALTO protects retailers by collaborating with law enforcement, prosecutors and community stakeholders in a coordinated effort to identify offenders and advocate for accountability. This approach not only reassures employees about their safety but also deters potential offenders with a clear message: safety disruptions will not be tolerated in stores protected by ALTO.

ALTO’s success stems from its cohesive, end-to-end solution that deters crime and builds community trust and safety. Partnering with ALTO can strengthen your asset protection strategy, protect your store, and mark a significant move towards safer communities. Join the ALTO Alliance today.