Dealing with this issue can be the most difficult and sometimes heart breaking thing to deal with for the employer. Your most trusted employee of 12 years was caught redhanded taking beef tenderloins out to her car and it turns out this has been happening for many years.
The point that you have potentially lost thousands of dollars through this person’s ongoing theft can many times be overshadowed by the fact that you feel betrayed; you can’t figure out “why” he or she did this.
Many times it comes down to the common factor of employees not being valued and compensated for their hard work. For example, this employee may have seen you give raises to people that she may have felt were less deserving and worked less hard than she herself did; and she may be right. After seeing this happen many times, a resentfulness may build up which is the longterm effect; she felt like she was “owed”.
I cannot stress enough; to treat your employees well and value them. In turn you will get honest and better workers. Be honest with your employees and let them know about finding theft in the workplace. Don’t be afraid to call the police into investigate the theft; that’s what they are there for so use them. It’s better to hold the threat of having the police in then to have to search their bags on the way out after every shift. Doing this just makes the people who do thievery wilier and harder to catch.