UF Spearheads Nationwide Effort To Combat Retail Theft (The Independent Florida Alligator)

UF Spearheads Nationwide Effort To Combat Retail Theft

UF researcher and criminologist Read Hayes, Ph.D., is bringing shoplifting scenarios to the lab.

Located at UF Innovate | The Hub, Hayes’ SaferPlaces Lab houses the latest in retail anti-theft technology, with over 400 devices having gone through testing in the space. These devices range from electronic lock boxes requiring a secure code to two-handed shelving designs that prevent thieves from sweeping large amounts of product from the shelves with ease.

Hayes leads the Loss Prevention Research Council, or LPRC, a community of researchers, retailers, solution partners, manufacturers, law enforcement professionals, and more working to make the world a safer place for shoppers and businesses.

Hayes says the research being conducted at the SaferPlaces Lab and by the LPRC differs from most of the research happening in the field.

“We deal with active shooters, armed robberies, burglaries, theft, fraud,” said Hayes. “There’s nothing like it out there that we’re aware of for crime prevention research.”

UF Innovate | Accelerate has provided the space, tools, and collaborative environment to help this research thrive.

“We’re the fuel for companies like LPRC to dream big and bring their visions to life,” said Jennifer Harrell, assistant director of UF Innovate | Accelerate. “Our program offers top-notch office and lab spaces, along with structured business entrepreneurship support.”

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