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Important facts regarding employee theft

Some studies have shown that employee theft may actually cost businesses more on a yearly basis than theft by customers and shoplifting. In fact, when the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners did a study on the subject, they said that about $160,000 was lost as a median total to companies all over the country.

Studies have also found that theft happens more often at small businesses. One may assume big companies would get robbed more often, because employees may feel very disconnected from ownership and may not think stealing is a big deal, but the reality is that small businesses usually don't have some of the advantages of big companies. They don't have as many policies or anti-theft tactics in place.

For example, at a national chain supermarket, there are likely going to be cameras everywhere that may stop employees from stealing. At a small, locally-owned shop, there may not be any cameras due to the much smaller budget.

However, store owners are encouraged to investigate thoroughly and not to make any accusations without proof. They're also encouraged to look for more than witness testimony from one person who claims to have seen the theft happen.

This is also important information for those who have been accused. The burden of proof is very high in court. Actual evidence is needed. An accusation from another employee--perhaps spurred by a feud or a general dislike between those two employees--may not be nearly enough to lead to a conviction. Those who are facing such accusations in Maryland have the right to a fair trial.

Source: i-sight, "How to Prevent/Deal With Employee Theft in the Workplace – Part 1," Timothy Dimoff, accessed May 12, 2016

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