Losses of government property will continue to increase unless preventative measures are taken. Some
situations will require revamping of security systems while others may require only re-education of the facility
personnel. The best method of loss prevention is to stop pilferage before it starts.
PART A - IDENTIFY THE COMMON TYPES OF PILFERAGE
Where need or desire exists and opportunity is presented, theft is almost sure to result. Pilferage, pilferer,
and pilfer are used in the meaning of steal, theft, larceny, and similar terms. The protection of property,
including the prevention of pilferage of government supplies and equipment, is one of the primary functions
of military police and civil service security forces. Consider the following types of pilferage:
Stolen items concealed on the person.
Stolen items concealed in automobiles.
Pilferage shipped and received through two or more people for fraud purposes.
Fictitious invoices to remove property.
Tanker trucks with false bottoms for the pilferage of product.
Trash disposal and salvage disposal activities used to hide property.
Items thrown over fences to be retrieved later.
Pilferage planned with security personnel.
Removal of items on vehicles belonging to outside contractors or vendors.
PART B - THE TWO TYPES OF PILFERERS
Casual Pilferers. Steal primarily because he/she is unable to resist the temptation of an unexpected
opportunity and has little fear of detection.
Usually little or no planning involved.
Normally acts alone.
Takes items for which he/she has no immediate need or foreseeable use.
Takes items for family or friends for use around the home.
The degree or risk involved in casual pilferage is normally slight, unless very large numbers of persons
Casual pilferage occurs whenever the individual feels that the need or desire for a certain article and the
opportunity to take it is provided by poor security measures. Casual pilferage is very serious if it
becomes widespread, especially if the stolen items have a high cash or potential value. Casual pilferers
are normally employees of the installation and usually are the most difficult to detect and apprehend.
Systematic Pilferers. Steals according to preconceived plan, and steals any and all types of supplies to sell
for cash or to barter for other valuable or desirable commodities. Systematic pilferers:
Steal for monetary gain, their acts are premeditated, and they may or may not be employees of the
Work with another person or well-organized groups.
May work with cleaning team or even be in an advantageous position to locate or administratively control
desired items or remove them from storage areas.
May be a one-time occurrence.
Such acts may extend over a period of months or years.
Large quantities of supplies, with great value, may be lost to groups.
PART C - CONTROL MEASURES
Casual Pilferage. The most practical and effective method for controlling casual pilferage is through the
use of psychological deterrents. One psychological deterrent is to search individuals and vehicles leaving
the installation at unannounced times and places. When conducting spot searches, care must be taken to
ensure that personnel are not demoralized nor their legal rights violated by oppressive physical controls or
unethical security practices. An aggressive security education program is also important. All employees
must realize that pilferage is morally wrong no matter how insignificant the value of the item taken. It is up to