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The Silent Partner.

The Silent Partner

Author: William H. Urban Publisher: Preyes Publications, PO Box 33623, Minneapolis, MN 55433; 1990, 60 pages, softback: $49.95 Reviewer: Francis D'Addario, CPP, Director of Loss Prevention for Hardee's Food Systems Inc. of Rocky Mount, NC; Chairman of the ASIS Standing Committee on Food Services The Silent Partner, by the president of Loss Prevention Consultants (LPC), details the activities of 345 thieves in 28 businesses over a period of five years. This self-described "study," which comes from Preyes Publications in Minneapolis, is also apparently a marketing entree for LPC.

I found some of Urban's maxims to be debatable, including, "It is not OK to post cash thefts for all employees to view in an effort to discourage thefts." Also, The Silent Partner's "quick quiz" is more anecdotal than scientific.

For instance, the correct answer that "four of 10, in the population as a whole, will be honest," is supported by a remark made by former FBI agent Joseph Wills on ABC's Nightline. Wills may indeed be correct in this assertion, but no empirical data is provided to persuade the reader.

Urban engages the reader with extremely interesting trends, the likes of which are only available in the files of an investigative organization. Urban's 345 cases account for $1,031,970 in losses to the employers, 76.3 percent of which is cash, the rest merchandise.

Managers who stole accounted for 13.6 percent of the thieves and 18.5 percent of the loss. Part-time employees stole an average of $1,370.64 in an average of 6.5 months, compared to full-timers, who were credited with $5,627.21 for an 18-month average employment.

Demographic conclusions based on age and sex flesh out the anonymous admissions. Provocative information regarding the reasons for theft are also profiled.

Urban goes on to make instructive comments on handling cases for a nonpractitioner audience. He also presents a risk versus reward index for potential employees and essential loss prevention elements.

The value of The Silent Partner lies in the fact that it brings to light actual cases that are seldom shared in other security literature. The unscientific appearance of the study adds to its readability but detracts from its potential authority.
COPYRIGHT 1991 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Author:D'Addario, Francis
Publication:Security Management
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Aug 1, 1991
Words:370
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