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Does Trader Joe’s Have Loss Prevention? (Answered)

Does Trader Joe’s have loss prevention

Trader Joe’s is known for being a sustainable grocer with a community feel. Employees are always friendly and quick to help, but what happens if you are caught stealing from Trader Joe’s? 

Trader Joe’s has loss prevention methods like any other grocery store or retail outlet. Many stores have security guards and security cameras. If you’re caught stealing from Trader Joe’s, you could face criminal charges.

You might have seen someone shoplifting from Trader Joe’s and wondered what will happen to them and if they will get caught. We’ll take a closer look at Trader Joe’s loss prevention systems, what they are and how they work.

Does Trader Joe’s Have Hidden Security Guards?

Trader Joe’s does not have hidden security guards in its stores. In most Trader Joe’s stores, you won’t find any security guards at all.

There have been instances of identified shoplifting in New York City Trader Joe’s stores where staff have seen the shoplifter but haven’t been able to act or stop the thief from leaving the store due to safety reasons. 

In these particular stores, there was no security guard or hidden security staff to step in and intervene either.

Although employees identified the shoplifter in this particular instance, there are other stores without any sort of security team where shoplifters may go unnoticed.

In other Trader Joe’s stores, you will find security guards by the entrance and exit doors. These security guards will typically be wearing a uniform so you can easily identify them as part of the security team, rather than them being hidden in any way. 

Depending on which Trader Joe’s store you visit, some may have security guards and some may not. This is due to whether or not that particular store is more prone to shoplifters and threats than others.

Whatever store you visit, there are no hidden security guards at Trader Joe’s. Any security guards will be identifiable as this is one way to deter shoplifters. 

Does Trader Joe’s Have Security Cameras?

Trader Joe’s has security cameras in some selected stores, but not all of them. Like the use of security guards, this is down to whether or not the store requires additional security measures due to the number of shoplifters. 

Interviews with previous store employees show that some stores do not have security cameras or security guards due to store policy not wanting to invade customer privacy. 

If you want to know whether or not your local Trader Joe’s store has security cameras then you can either ask the staff as they are legally required to tell you if there is surveillance in place. Alternatively, you can take a look around the premises.

Security cameras at Trader Joe’s are installed by the entrance and exit doors as this is the most effective place to catch a shoplifter.

To be fair though, asking about their camera locations will flag you for suspicious behavior, and we’d wager you’re going to be more likely to be followed or watched while on the premises. That said, you do have the right to ask.

Some Trader Joe’s stores that do not have their own security cameras may utilize public surveillance. In NYC for example, there are street surveillance cameras that can be used by stores to identify and catch shoplifters.

Most stores are equipped with cameras though, and police can utilize a combination of both these instore and public cameras to track and identify perpretators.  

What is Trader Joe’s Store Policies About Shoplifting?

Part of Trader Joe’s loss prevention measures is its shoplifting policies. Having policies to catch and prosecute shoplifters acts as a deterrent for potential shoplifters and repeat offenders. 

Trader Joe’s shoplifting policies will be in line with the law and regulations of the state, as will any other retail or grocery store. In the US, shoplifting is considered a criminal offense.

If the shoplifter is charged, it will depend on how much the goods were worth that they stole, for example, if the value is over $500 then it’s considered a felony. 

As with any store, Trader Joe’s does not condone shoplifting and if you are charged with shoplifting from Trader Joe’s this will usually result in fines and penalties to pay. 

What Happens if you get Caught Shoplifting at Trader Joe’s?

If you get caught shoplifting at Trader Joe’s then you could face penalties and fines depending on the value of the goods you stole. 

One example of a shoplifter who got caught stealing from Trader Joe’s highlighted the loss prevention methods that were in place in this particular store.

There was a security guard who caught the offender, security cameras to act as evidence, and a loss prevention department who managed the case. 

This particular case of shoplifting was resolved with agreed loss prevention penalty fees being paid. This is the usual outcome of shoplifting at most stores when the value is lower than $500. 

If you get suspected of stealing at Trader Joe’s by a security guard you’ll be asked to show your receipt for what you bought and have your bags searched.

If evidence of shoplifting is found then Trader Joe’s may call the police on you for further action. 

After the police arrive, you will be charged with shoplifting fines which you will need to pay. Depending on the amount you stole will depend on what fines you are given.

When a shoplifter is caught at Trader Joe’s, they are also banned from shopping at the stores in the future.

Final Thoughts

Trader Joe’s stores have loss prevention methods such as security cameras and security guards. However, these measures are not uniform and in place in all stores. 

Loss prevention at Trader Joe’s is tackled on a store-by-store basis. The chain has an overarching policy of not wanting to invade their customer’s privacy so they don’t have these measures in place for all stores if they are not necessary.

For stores that face more cases of shoplifting, more security measures are deemed necessary.


Shane is a fitness enthusiast who also has a passion for trying and cooking new foods. His favorite stores to shop at include Trader Joe's, Wholefoods Market, Sprouts, Stater Brothers, and Target.

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