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How Amazon Uses Surveillance Footage to Scare Would-Be Thieves

2 minute read

In an effort to crack down on theft at its warehouses, Amazon is using footage of workers caught in the act to scare others straight, Bloomberg reports.

At some of its warehouses, the online retailer shows clips of workers stealing various objects on giant TV screens, then flashes “terminated” or “arrested” on the screen to show each worker’s fate. The thieves are shown in silhouette to keep them anonymous.

The video clips also display the value of what the workers stole and how they were caught. The types of stolen items can vary widely, ranging from iPads to microwaves to Pop Rocks.

James McCracken, a former Amazon warehouse worker in San Bernardino, Calif. called the use of the clips offensive. “That’s a weird way to go about scaring people,” he told Bloomberg. Amazon did not immediately respond to TIME’s request for comment.

Amazon has long had a contentious relationship with some if its warehouse workers. A group of workers filed a class-action lawsuit contending that they should be paid for the time spent waiting in security lines to be screened for stolen items after work. They lost the case in the Supreme Court.


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