Employee theft can be a tricky situation to deal with. From simple office supplies to serious data theft, knowing what was stolen, who it was stolen by, and why it was stolen can take time, resources, and patience to investigate.

As a business owner, knowing how to spot employee theft and how to deal with it is a crucial skill to possess, as company theft can impact company funds and services. If an employee has stolen from your business, then you should consider termination.

Other employees need to see that dishonest behaviour is not tolerated, and repercussions are expected to prevent theft from occurring in the future. However, first, you must prove that the suspected employee has committed company theft, as a wrongful accusation could hurt the company’s image and employee morale.

At Expert Investigations, we prioritise the importance of evidence gathering when dealing with employee dishonesty. Our services offer discrete investigations that can establish suspected theft as fact before you advance with accusations. We always recommend gathering accurate information about the crime before taking action to avoid wrongful dismissals or accusations.

In this article, we are going to explore some key points about investigating suspected theft. By the end of the piece, you should feel more educated about workplace theft, fraud, and dishonesty. Whilst we always recommend hiring a professional for guidance with employee behaviour, this article should give you some tips for dealing with internal employee theft with or without an investigator.

What Counts As Employee Theft?

It might not always seem obvious, but anything that belongs to the company, even data, should not be taken by an employee without permission. Anything that is classified as company property must remain within the possession of the company. Misuse of a company credit card, data, products, or other items, both physical products and digital products, can be theft and should be investigated. Dishonest employee behaviour, in general, should be investigated as a priority to maintain your company’s standards.

Employee behaviour should be of a certain standard; any feelings of dishonesty or exploitation of the company’s products must be observed and dealt with. For small businesses or large businesses, preventing theft can save your company money and resources. At Expert Investigations, we have a number of services to help you gather information and prove that theft has taken place.

Data Theft Counts As Theft!

The stolen asset does not have to be a physical object to count as theft. Data theft can be even more common than physical theft due to our reliance on technology. Your company may have access to confidential information, sensitive customer details, and important client information that could be taken advantage of by employees.

Depending on what service you offer, your company’s database could contain customers’ credit card numbers or insider information that could be valuable. Data theft can’t be noticed by security cameras or traditional methods; you won’t find physical evidence. However, a data breach should be handled with the same severity level as physical theft. Expert Investigations have the required skills to find out if data theft has occurred. With computer surveillance and other services, you can gather the proof you need to spot a dishonest use of company data.

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How To Prove Employee Theft Has Taken Place?

You need to gather evidence of employee theft as it is inappropriate to accuse an employee on suspicion alone; hence, evidence is vital for proving employee theft has taken place in your business. Data theft and physical theft require different forms of investigation. If it is physical products that have been stolen (or are suspected of being stolen), then regular audits and inventory counts can establish if something has gone missing. Then you should set up or check existing security cameras in the area. If you are struggling to uncover the evidence you need, then covert surveillance, computer forensics, covert vehicle tracking, and interviews with employees conducted by an expert investigator can help to uncover the truth. Here at Expert Investigations, our team can find the evidence required to build your case quickly, effectively, and professionally.

When it comes to data, you need to observe their computer behaviour. Here at Expert Investigations, we can carry out forensic retrieval. Most data theft occurs when a member of staff leaves a company. With specialist software, we can retrieve the data without corruption to the files or info. Your own personal IT team may not have the skills to conduct this type of forensic data, so it is always good to contact a professional.

Our commercial investigator services can help you to detect physical theft and data theft. If you suspect an employee of dishonest behaviour, investigate it with Expert Investigations. Don’t let something become a huge problem that could damage your company; seek the help and evidence you need with Expert Investigations.

How To Handle Employee Theft?

Depending on what the theft included and your company’s stance on the theft can affect and impact the outcome. Most company theft can be handled internally; however, subsequent legal action should be pursued when the theft involves sensitive data or products that may have affected people outside of the company. Your company and your HR team should have certain steps in place to deal with theft or internal issues.

Most theft will result in immediate termination of the employee as it will breach their contract. Stealing should not be tolerated and should always be treated with importance.

How To Prevent Future Theft?

Many employees follow the example that is set for them. To prevent theft, a business should make it clear that theft is not tolerated. Catching company theft and punishing it can deter other employees from conducting similar behaviours. However, employees steal even when it is clear that it could result in termination. Hence, you should have measures in place to prevent and catch employee theft.

Think about implementing a clear employee guideline that outlines expected behaviour and the expected outcomes for any dishonest or fraudulent behaviour. Have secure security systems in place for cash and other physical items, as well as data protection software and security measures for all digital devices. Theft can always happen, but you can take action to discourage employees from attempting to carry out dishonest behaviours.

If you suspect employee behaviour is dishonest and could be harming the company, talk to us today. We can investigate your staff in a professional and private manner to avoid disrupting the workplace and workflow. Book a consultation: