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However, supermarkets and other shops claim they have started employing face recognition technology for a legitimate purpose: to catch shoplifters. James Dolan has recently sparked controversy over his use of facial recognition technology to keep his adversaries out of Madison Square Garden.
The use of high-tech technologies by supermarkets, drugstore chains, and other mass retailers to catch criminals is on the rise. These breakthroughs include face recognition software, artificial intelligence, and even aisle-roving robots. Some claim that they have discovered a few surprises.
Owner of four Brooklyn Fare locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, Moe Issa, said that wealthy patrons were slipping containers of blueberries into their purses. One frequent offender, he claimed, was a mother.
Issa said “She grabbed two organic chicken breasts and put it below her infant in a stroller.” “She placed it beneath her child’s diaper. Who will command, “Lift your kid up? “
Retailers are resorting to new technology that can inform workers when their belongings are being stolen since they are losing thousands of dollars each week to egregious criminals. Retailers claim their livelihood is at risk, especially in New York where inadequate law enforcement has contributed to an epidemic of stealing. Dolan received criticism for using it to bar his legal adversaries from attending athletic events or watching the Rockettes.
The Post’s review of police statistics on Friday revealed that 2022 saw record-high levels of retail thefts for the second consecutive year. According to the numbers, shoplifting complaints skyrocketed to store than 63,000 last year, a 45% increase over the around 45,000 cases reported in 2021 and a nearly 275% increase over the mid-2000s.
A grocery shop owner in the Bronx who has been fighting crime in his businesses recently installed facial recognition software at one site. He claims it can identify known criminals even when they attempt to conceal themselves with face masks and hoodies, he claimed.
The grocer said that the process of compiling a list of repeat offenders was highly effective.
However, the grocer declined to give his name because he was worried that, like roughly a dozen other US states and localities, the use of face recognition technology will soon be limited in New York.
Meanwhile, large chain businesses are cautious about exposing staff members and patrons to possibly violent or aggressive offenders. As The Post has revealed, Walgreens advises its security officers not to approach thieves. At a “Anti-Crime Summit” in January, Walgreens’ Joseph Stein, director of asset security solutions, stated that the guards are “not there to safeguard the merchandise.”
Instead, merchandise at large drugstore chains is rapidly becoming locked up, necessitating the need for help from customers in order to purchase everything from shampoo to ibuprofen.
As an alternative, Mountain View, California-based Knightscope is selling 4.5-foot, 400-pound robots with cameras that can patrol shop aisles or be positioned where “particularly desired commodities are kept,” according to spokesperson Stacy Stephens.
We know that having a robot in situ with security markings attracts attention, thus deterrence is the most important factor, he stated.
Stephens claimed that Knightscope’s retail clients are confidential, but added that the robots have been used in parking lots and malls. They may be rented for approximately 75 cents an hour and provide security staff a chance to talk to a possible problem.
Through the robot, a security guard may remark, “Hey you, in the blue shirt, what are you doing at the garbage can? This is a limited region,” Stephens said.
Veesion, a Paris-based artificial intelligence business, lists ACE Hardware, Keyfood, and small booze stores among its US clients. Its devices can detect criminals when they conceal items in their clothing or bags, or even when they begin consuming products off the shelf.
The program, which costs between $200 and $800 a month, depending on the size of the business, may instantly transmit a seven-second GIF depicting the burglar in motion to staff’ phones.
According to Sean Ward, US manager of Veesion, “It took us two years to get to the stage where the software can detect the gestures and the motions of the customers within the store.”
However, many believe that technology can only do so much to combat the problem of shoplifting. Even tech CEOs admit that their products have limits.
Scott Mullins, the creator of Irvine, California-based Raptor Vision, an AI software company that supplies select Kroger and Albertsons supermarkets as well as wine shops, argues that it is up to the employees to take initiative and take action.
Launched in June, Raptor flags clients who take unusually large quantities of a single product utilizing the security video system of a business, for example. The proprietary program instantly notifies personnel via emails or text messages.
According to Mullins, “they have to touch the merchandise more times than usual” to receive a message. Raptor can also activate a speaker in the aisle that can be set to say things like “customer care is on its way right now to help you.”
According to Westside Market’s chief operating officer Ian Joskowitz, the luxury grocery shop has agreed to test Raptor at one of its seven Manhattan locations over the next weeks.
According to Joskowitz, “Raptor is great for a specific sort of shoplifter who comes in and takes 20 steaks or 15 Haagen Dazs pints,” and he anticipates spending approximately $2,500 for the program in addition to a small monthly charge.
The personnel at the West End site will be accompanied by an intimidating security officer who is skilled in mixed martial arts when they approach someone who is stealing from the store, according to a recent hire by Westside. The security guard is covered in armor.
Joskowitz stated, “I had a woman try to stab me with a hypordermic needle.
But not everybody is adopting the new technologies. Industry insiders point out that supermarkets in particular have extremely slim profit margins, making significant investments in software challenging.
Sal Bonavita, owner of two KeyFood stores in the Bronx, stated, “We recently experienced our worst year, so there is no room to make speculative bets on technology.” Our personnel, who are aware of attempted theft, are our strongest line of protection.
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