New Product Designed to 'Foil' Shoplifters as They Enter the Store

Checkpoint Systems, Inc. has introduced MetalPoint, a new product designed to detect shoplifters and their tools as they enter a store, before they've had a chance to commit a theft. MetalPoint was debuted at the National Retail Federation's Loss Prevention Show in San Diego.

MetalPoint is a sophisticated metal detector that identifies the presence of foil-lined bags, also known as "booster bags," or clothing, a method favored by professional thieves to thwart electronic article surveillance (EAS) technology systems.

Multiple layers of foil lining can prevent EAS systems from "seeing" the EAS tag or label on the merchandise and triggering the alarm. By most estimates, professional shoplifting costs U.S. retailers approximately $13 billion annually.

MetalPoint's detector alarms are activated when a person carrying foil-lined "booster" bags or wearing foil-lined clothing enters the surveillance area. Silent alarm signals are transmitted from the MetalPoint detector to an external alarm unit to discreetly alert staff members or security guards that a potential professional thief may be entering the store.

Thieves cannot test to see if the system has any limitations, since the alarm will only transmit a low audible or flashing light signal to store personnel, rather than a loud alarm or flashing lights visible to everyone. Detectors can be tuned depending on retailers' installation needs, allowing larger metal objects - such as shopping carts, baby carriages or wheelchairs - to pass through unchallenged.

"Professional shoplifters have grown more sophisticated in the methods they use to avoid detection by EAS systems, so advances in anti-shoplifting technology have had to ensure we stay well ahead of thieves," said Marianne O'Brien, Vice President, General Manager, North America, Shrink Management Solutions of Checkpoint Systems. "The introduction of MetalPoint means retailers now have access to a technology that screens for potential shoplifters before they've committed their crime."

MetalPoint can be installed either as a stand-alone component, or integrated into an existing EAS system.

As a stand-alone installation, MetalPoint boasts a sleek antenna with a compact, space-saving footprint. The system is designed to stand next to existing Radio Frequency (RF) or accousto-magnetic (AM) EAS antennas.

As an integrated system, the MetalPoint antenna fits snugly into Checkpoint' s Liberty PX or QX pedestals, providing an invisible asset to retailers and increasing the value of their EAS security investment.