Business Security

These guidelines have been developed in order to assist your in conducting internal investigations of theft activity by employees. Your request for a criminal complaint will be investigated and prepared for criminal prosecution in a more timely manner if you follow them.

Due to the large number of ongoing investigations, the Edina Police Department will not investigate complaints of employee criminal activity unless the steps below are followed.

If your total provable loss is less than $5,000 —

1. Conduct an internal investigation and gather all of the evidence (receipts, papers, surveillance tapes, etc.)

2. Write a complete report including what provoked the investigation, what type of investigation was conducted and what was discovered. Include written statements from any witnesses who have knowledge of the incident.

3. Prepare a copy of the report for the Edina Police Department. The following items must be included:

  • Witness List This list should include the name, address and phone number of each witness, and describe the knowledge and involvement of each witness.
  • Incident Report to be completed by the primary person conducting the investigation. This report should also contain all information known about the suspected employee (full name, address, telephone number, physical description, date of birth, driver's license, employment date, etc.)
  • Evidence Any evidence gathered such as papers, receipts and surveillance tapes must be turned over to the Edina Police Department to be presented as evidence in court.
  • Interview When the employee is interviewed, we recommend that you record the conversation. In the event that the employee will speak to you, but not the police, the transcription of the interview is admissible in court and is viewed as a more accurate statement than a summary of your notes. If taping is not possible, either take notes to write a supplementary report, paying particular attention to any admissions or denials made by the employee, or have the employee draft and sign a written statement.

4. Prior to terminating the employee, contact the Edina Police Dispatch at 952-826-1600 and request an officer to respond for an employee in custody for internal theft. When the officer arrives, turn over all documentation and evidence and brief the officer as to what your investigation involved. The officer will review the case file and determine if probable cause for an arrest is present and will then follow up with the employee with some type of interview. If the probably cause exists, the officer will take custody of the employee.

If your provable loss is more than $5,000 —

1. Complete all of the necessary paperwork as described for an incident less than $5,000.

2. Contact the Commercial Crime Investigative Sergeant, 953-826-1620. Brief the sergeant on what type of investigation is occurring and your plans for confronting and/or interviewing the employee.

3. The Investigative Sergeant will either dispatch a patrol officer or assign an investigator to meet with you and review the case file you have prepared. If an investigator is assigned, the investigator will then make arrangements to be present when you have completed the interview with the employee and the employee is to be separated from the business. The investigator will take custody of the employee and attempt to interview him/her and make arrangements for transportation off the premises.

For the officer or investigator to make an arrest, all paperwork must be complete prior to police arrival. Thorough internal investigations usually generate a lot of papers and thick case files. It is very important to provide on the first page of your report a brief synopsis of the crime, what the provable loss is and how it can be proved (i.e. through surveillance tapes, what was actually witnessed by a person and/or admission by the suspected employee, etc.)

It is very difficult and time-consuming to locate and receive any cooperation from the employee if she/he has been separated from the business prior to police intervention. Following these guidelines and having either a patrol officer or investigator present to intervene with the employee greatly increases the ability to prosecute the employee in a timely manner. Your assistance is greatly appreciated and will greatly expedite the process.

If you have any questions about this information, or other safety or security concerns, call Crime Prevention, Edina Police Department, 952-826-1610.

It is important for management to have a written policy regarding security procedures, and to clearly communicate that policy to all personnel. To reduce your risk of theft, the security policy should incorporate the following:

1. Office procedure should include an early verbal greeting with good eye contact of all visitors to the office.

2. Train your receptionist to pay particular attention to visitors who seem confused or unsure of where they are or the purpose of their visit. Take note of unusual clothing, speech, behavior, etc.

3. Encourage all employees to question any strangers they encounter by asking their destination and offering assistance.

4. Encourage quick and accurate communication about unusual or suspicious activity observed in the building and/or the office. Report such activity to the property management and other appropriate authorities.

5. Examine the physical layout of your office or building with regard to deterring theft by effective use of lighting and locks and by maximizing visibility.

6. Establish good access control, including sign in/out and key control.

7. If a problem develops, be direct with employees rather than let the rumors build.

8. Describe the situation and initiate educational and security measures. Encourage employee suggestions and assistance as to prevention and deterrence.

9. Instruct all personnel to call 9-1-1 if they feel threatened or if there is a suspicion of crime.

For a Security Survey of your office, including both procedural and physical security, call Crime Prevention, Edina Police Department, 952-826-1610.

If you have any questions about this information, or other safety or security concerns, call Crime Prevention, Edina Police Department, 952-826-1610.

Download these tips on Office Security for Employers.

Commercial or public buildings are often the target of opportunistic thieves. These thieves take advantage or the fact that many trusting, unaware people often leave their personal belongings in open, visible places. Wallets and checkbooks are sometimes left on a desktop or in a jacket on the back of a chair or door; purses are often on the floor next to a desk. Unfortunately, these habits are an invitation for trouble. To reduce your risk of theft, read and follow these suggestions:

  • Keep your purse or wallet in a locked drawer at all times.
  • Carry only as much cash as you need for the day, and only one credit card and check.
  • Don't "flash your cash" or any credit cards or personal information.
  • Make a list of credit cards with pertinent phone numbers and keep it in a safe place. Update the list as needed.
  • Don't leave packages or other valuables on or around your desk or work area. Lock them in the trunk of your car.
  • Be attentive to any visitors who seem confused or out of place. Address anyone you don't know who may be wandering or looking around your office. Note their appearance, behavior, etc., and report any unusual activity immediately.
  • Immediately report any theft or other criminal activity, use 9-1-1, and inform the property manager.
  • For an on-site Security Survey of your office, including an assessment of procedural and physical security, call Crime Prevention, 952-826-1610.

  • If you have any questions about this information, or other safety or security concerns, call Crime Prevention, Edina Police Department, 952-826-1610.

    Download these tips on Office Security for Employers.

Due to the nature of your responsibilities, you may find yourself working with strangers. Please download these Realtor Safety tips.

Can you identify a shoplifter? That's an important question because shoplifting costs Edina businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. These 15 points are effective ways of identifying and handling shoplifters. Reduce your risk by practicing these strategies.

1. Watch the eyes. Shoplifters' eyes are constantly in motion, looking for clerks and customers. Shoplifters will look at merchandise just long enough to know it's what they want to steal.

2. Follow hand movements. A shoplifter might use one hand to distract you while stealing with the other.

3. Carefully observe people who seem anxious and refuse assistance.

4. Pay attention to customers who loiter around a certain area, handle many items, but make no attempt to buy.

5. Watch people who carry a coat or other items under which something could be concealed.

6. Observe large or open purses and shopping bags carried on the arm or shoulder.

7. People might try to conceal merchandise under oversize or loose-fitting clothing. Watch for coats or jackets worn out of season.

8. If a customer walks awkwardly, try to determine why. Women might carry many items under a dress. Shoplifters might wear long underwear under baggy pants and these techniques make walking difficult.

9. Be alert to people who drop things. This might distract from the hiding of merchandise, even though you're only a few feet away.

10. Keep track of customers who carry items around the store or go into out-of-the-way areas.

11. Be careful of people who repeatedly send you away by asking for other sizes or colors or who monopolize or distract you with constant chatter.

12. Be especially attentive if a group comes into the store and then splits up.

13. Watch customers who group together to block your view of their hands.

14. Be alert to people who walk through the store with unwrapped items such as luggage or other sizeable pieces.

15. Be wary of customers who come and go several times without buying. They might not need to purchase anything because you're giving it away.

If you have any questions about this information, or other safety or security concerns, call Crime Prevention, Edina Police Department, 952- 826-1610.