The corporate thief is an individual we deal with on a regular basis. The statistics on the percentage of employees stealing from 1969 to the third quarter of 2006 remained constant at approximately 15%. This is not only our company’s findings but consistent with the top firms in the Untied States engaged in rooting out thieves.
From the third quarter of 2006 to the present, the rate of theft in corporate America has risen to an astounding 75%. Primarily the theft is of time but money and product also enter into the equation. There is now a sense of entitlement because the employee feels slighted by no salary raises, bonuses, company parties or additional vacation time. In prior years, it could be difficult to get someone to confess to their misdeeds. Today, many employees proudly proclaim what they have taken with an added attitude of “what are you going to do about it?”
In most cases, employees begin stealing when they become disgruntled. Forbes Magazine studied the issue and connected employee anger to moral values when those values are seen by the employee as being violated.
Many disgruntled employees move on when other opportunities arise and may start stealing from the company if they are angry and can’t leave. One who outwardly exhibits model behavior and has a seemingly high degree of moral conviction will be especially angered when he or she feels morally violated by the company.
This can be a complicated issue for security to tackle because these types of people are intelligent and analytical thinkers. They tend to have self-discipline, as it all connects to the idea of moral commitment and “putting in their time” for the sake of later reward. They tend to be precise and careful about their crimes and have more discipline when it comes to waiting for the right moment during the regular workday, says a white paper report on the subject from Symantec Corp.
These thieves strike where they see weakness, at particular people they are upset with, or skip targeting one person if they think they can hurt the whole company by stealing. Many times, the theft itself is what makes them feel better. This type of corporate thief is harder to target because they tend to have enough discipline to avoid being extra greedy. They will do a bit of damage to restore their egos and then wait a while before they steal some more.
How to Catch This Type of Corporate Thief
About 90% of the time, the gut instinct that most people have about a theft situation is usually correct. Unless they are using some sort of camera surveillance or have employee informants, corporate thieves are very difficult to catch in the act. This is why private investigators can provide very strong support toward solving the problem. The key is to hire private investigators who have a minimum twenty years experience in the art of interview and interrogation, especially at the Federal law enforcement level. This skill will enable you to avoid placing undercover agents in the workplace to find the thieves which can be expensive and ineffective.
Don’t be fooled by this ruse of placing investigators undercover. It is totally unnecessary if you hire the right private investigative firm. During the interview process determine three things, what is the investigative plan, how long will it take and how much will it cost. If you are having difficulties locating an investigative agency, please contact our office for a referral. We have hundreds of former agents of the DEA, FBI, IRS and Secret Service throughout the United States and numerous foreign countries that can be of assistance.
Interviews and Interrogations Will Work Better To Catch a Disgruntled Corporate Thief
The corporate thief that is acting on rationalized conclusions will tend to have a lot of hidden emotions. A one-on-one interview with a private investigator that has experience interrogating criminals) can be an effective way to break through mental walls.
The investigator represents a stranger that the disgruntled corporate thief has not built psychological defenses against. Investigators who have worked as Federal agents have ample experience in criminal psychology and can break through these lines of mental defense. The additional good news is that they can conduct and complete their investigation quickly.
Finally, you may want to do some self-examination and consider if you or your company have honestly played a part in making the thief feel wronged. While it doesn’t excuse the theft, it might ultimately help you and your company create a better work environment and avoid future theft. Conversely, be assured, that when the investigation is successful, you will send a very strong message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated and may even be prosecuted.