Start-Up Company Comes Up with Brilliant Solution to Fight Thieves: ‘Can’t See What You’re Trying to Steal’

A Missouri businessman thinks he has the answer to slowing the rampant increase in retail thefts.

According to the National Retail Federation, stores have reported a 26.5 percent increase this year in organized retail crime and noted that losses, dubbed shrink, totaled at nearly $100 billion in 2021.

Scott Bader knows that his company can’t stop all thefts, but he is hoping that the security fogging system his company DensityUSA sells will give retailers a way to reduce smash-and-grabs in which thieves destroy windows and take what was on display.

Bader operates Spencer Commercial Cleaning and started thinking about responses to retail crime when he was called to a looted Walgreens in 2020, according to KPLR-TV.

“As I left there, I got to thinking that there’s got to be a better way,” Bader said.

He found one in Europe, where fogging systems were already in use.

“When a fogger goes off, what happens is the thieves or whoever is breaking in, they stop,” he said, according to KMOV.

“First of all, they don’t know what is going on. Secondly, they can’t see their hand in front of their face. If you can’t see what you’re going to steal, it’s kind of a waste of your time,” he said.

“They usually go right back out where they came in,” Bader said, according to KPLR.

Mike Egel, president of DensityUSA, said the device can be set to generate fog for different lengths of time. “There’s absolutely nothing to clean up, no residue. And perfectly safe for people and pets and inventory and electronics and all of your assets,” he said, according to KMOV.

“You can control each individual unit, so if you have one unit or a thousand units, you can manage that through our web app,” Egel said, according to KPLR.

Senior Director of Retail Technology and Cybersecurity at the National Retail Federation Christian Beckner said the problem of retail theft is nationwide, according to Retail Touchpoints.

“A lot of the media attention goes to a few particular areas in the country — California and elsewhere — but what we see is that this is a nationwide problem: big cities, small towns, mid-size cities, urban, rural,” Beckner said.

“There are differences to some extent, state by state, but it certainly is something that we look at as a national issue. Part of the issue is even if the theft is taking place in one state or one city, a lot of the time the goods that are being stolen are moved to another state to be resold, or groups are going from state to state, or region to region, and carrying out the same types of the same modus operandi in different stores,” Beckner said.

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa has proposed legislation he says will get tough on organized retail crime.

“These criminals are exploiting the internet and online marketplaces to stay one step ahead of the law, and it’s time the law catches up. This bill improves our federal response to organized retail crime and establishes new tools to recover goods and illicit proceeds, and deter future attacks on American retailers,” Grassley said on his website.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.