DK's Store Detectives


DK Security maintains a team of over 30 undercover detectives working in retail settings throughout Michigan.  DK’s average store detective apprehensions are nearly 3 times higher than the national average and we recover on average $36,000 of client merchandise per year and deter the loss of thousands of dollars more.

Store detective services include:

  • Watching for suspicious activity among shoppers, store employees, vendors and delivery workers
  • Detecting and apprehending shoplifters
  • Conducting investigations and documenting activities by employees and customers
  • Filing complaints with the local police department
  • Testifying in court regarding apprehensions and investigations
  • Traveling to and from multiple stores
  • Maintaining open communication with other detectives and the client on issues with store employees and customers

detective selection process and training

DK employs professional store detectives who have undergone extensive classroom training, on the job training, pre-employment background screening, psychological and drug testing, and performance assessments, prior to working independently. Our detectives are specifically trained in the accurate identification and appropriate apprehension of shoplifters and are certified through our in-depth loss prevention training program outlined below:

  • Classroom training
  • Review of the Store Detective Training Manual
  • CPR/First-Aid Training
  • Verbal and Non-verbal Intervention Training
  • On-the- job training
  • At the conclusion of the on-the-job training, the store detective must demonstrate the ability to perform independently.
  • An evaluation of the store detective’s skills will be completed by the trainer.
  • A task checklist must be completed.
  • Individual work experience with-in a client’s store

During this time frame, the detective is required to perform one of the following:

  • Apprehension of an adult
  • Apprehension of a juvenile
  • Issuance of a civil demand
  • Issuance of a trespass notice
  • Photography of evidence and subject
  • Method of Operation

Additional Information:
The store detective program is tailored to the client’s desires and needs and client policies and procedures are incorporated into the store detective training curriculum.

All detectives are instructed to dress according to the nature of the store and are expected to blend in with the customers.

Each detective will be required to call-in to the DK 24-hour control center when arriving and departing from a store. Additionally, the detective will notify a designated store employee upon arrival for the shift. The detective will require the assistance of this store employee as a witness when making a “stop.” This policy is in place for the detective and shoplifter’s protection.

DK has non-pursuit and hands-off policies. The detectives do not use physical restraint when detaining shoplifters.

Each detective has been trained to identify potential shoplifters based on behavioral indicators as opposed to a person’s physical appearance (race, ethnicity, gender, etc.) minimizing the risk of a discrimination lawsuit. Behavioral indicators include: dress, hand movements, value of items, bags, purses, etc.

Once items have been selected and concealed by the shoplifter, the detective will wait until the shoplifter has passed all points of purchase before approaching.

Any contact made with a shoplifter is conducted in a courteous and discreet manner and with the intent of avoiding an escalation. Once the detective has identified oneself as store security, the detective will ask the shoplifter to move to a designated area/room where the merchandise will be recovered and information on the shoplifter will be obtained.

At this point the detective will either issue a civil demand or contact the local authorities based on the directives given by the store.

Scheduling store detectives

  • Scheduling is conducted according to the client’s desires. Coverage is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Shifts are generally divided into 4-8 hour shifts, depending on the size of the store.
  • Shifts are scheduled according to the predicted times of highest theft.
  • Times and shifts vary from day to day so that identifiable patterns are avoided.
  • The detectives scheduled in each store vary so that the identity is not apparent to professional shoplifters or frequent visitors.