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Alarm over anti-theft busting belt

Dutch shoplifters go hi-tech

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A Dutch retail association has raised the alarm over a new device that Eastern European shoplifters use to turn off retail theft detection systems at a shop's checkout or exit.

According to the RND, which represents the interests of the larger retailers and franchise organisations in the Netherlands, Eastern European gangs have successfully shoplifted from perfume and electronics outlets by using a device that looks like a large battery and is hidden in a waist belt. Dutch police this week arrested several shoplifters from Germany and Slovenia who carried the device.

RND has started talks with manufacturers of Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) systems to see what can be done. A spokesman of RND stresses that not all detection systems are deactivated by the device, which is believed to be manufactured in Eastern Europe.

Retail theft detection systems that continuously swap frequencies are pretty much resistant to attack, a spokesman for Nedap, a major manufacturer of EAS systems, told The Register: "Most of our newer systems are connected to the internet anyway. When they are disrupted, we can immediately warn the retailer." ®

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