LP Magazine

JAN-FEB 2018

LP magazine publishes articles for loss prevention, asset protection, and retail professionals covering shrinkage, investigations, shoplifting, internal theft, fraud, technology, best practices, and career development.

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understand why they occur. It's possible exceptions are the result of extra work, delays, or someone triggering them to take advantage of the situation. As the inquiry evolves, collect evidence, documents, forms, or samples that may become relevant later. Remember that later may be too late to recover them. Consider if diagrams or photos might be useful in adding context to a process or alibi. And note how people interact—this can speak volumes about internal relationships at play. Develop Theories to Explain the Facts When a fact appears to be opposed to a long train of deductions, it invariably proves to be capable of bearing some other interpretation. If a fact is opposed to our theory, we must reexamine our view and modify our conclusions to take it into account. "It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." – Sherlock Holmes in A Scandal in Bohemia It is the investigator's responsibility to modify a theory so that it fits the facts, not to ignore the facts because they don't suit his thoughts. This should make us look at other possibilities to explain the facts available. This might result in discovering an error in the "fact" or a mistake in our interpretation of it. Either way, the case is strengthened in searching for the truth. Eliminate the Least Likely Theories Unfortunately, some of the recent miscarriages of justice in the United States were the result of failing to reexamine the theory of the case when there were facts that didn't support the conclusion the prosecution proposed. "Eliminate all other facts, and the one that remains must be the truth." – Sherlock Holmes in The Sign of Four "It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." – Sherlock Holmes in The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet Sometimes there is a nagging hangnail in an investigation that just doesn't seem right. These always bear looking at since anyone defending the target of the inquiry is going to rely on this detail to 13 LP MAGAZINE | JANUARY–FEBRUARY 2018

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