Does Target Monitor Their Cameras? (How Long Footage Is Kept + Other FAQs!)

Through a methodical security and loss prevention program, Target is able to apprehend around 75,000 shoplifters a year. Following a spike in theft, Target has adapted its systems, including surveillance cameras, to protect its assets.

But do Target monitor their cameras, and what other deterrents do they have in place to prevent shoplifting? I’ve looked into it, and here is what I’ve learned about Target’s camera system.

Does Target Monitor Their Cameras?

Target does monitor their cameras in store 24/7 through on-site security which sends the footage to its investigation centers. Target operates one of the most sophisticated loss-prevention operations in the country, with a range of visual, audio, and latent print technologies to deter and catch criminals.

For more information on how long Target retains camera footage, what other security methods Target employs, and the scoop on Target’s Forensic Laboratories, then keep reading!

How Long Does Target Keep Camera Footage?

According to online sources, Target retains all camera footage for around 30 days to allow it to be investigated by security if necessary.

Additionally, Target monitors all security cameras and camera footage from both in-store and various investigation centers located around the country.

This allows Target a widespread camera monitoring system primed to apprehend criminals.

Does Target Keep Records Of Shoplifters?

Yes, Target will keep thorough records of noted shoplifters within their systems.

This can include records of video recordings, fingerprints, facial IDs, and even camera footage of the crimes being committed in Target.

Target’s camera technology is so sophisticated it can track potential criminals from store to store, identifying features such as clothing patterns and hairstyles of suspects.

With this footage, Target will retain all gathered evidence of shoplifters to give to police to apprehend.

Some online shoppers have noted that Target has an alternative approach to theft than many of its competitors.

While other retailers will stop petty thefts, Target will create a record of the shoplifting until the thief can be prosecuted with a felony level of shoplifting.

Does Target Have Facial Recognition?

Target monitors its camera systems to the extent they are able to obtain identification from facial recognition software.

This helps Target to build a profile of potential criminals to prosecute for theft.

Does Target Scan For Fingerprints?

Target is able to do latent print testing through its forensic laboratories.

Additionally, Target can obtain fingerprints from coupons, packaging, and other similar items that thieves have interacted with in-store in order to create an arsenal of evidence.

The fingerprint information will be retained and tested in the Target forensic laboratories in case they are needed to contribute towards a case.

Does Target Have Security In-Store?

Does Target Have Security In Store?

As well as technological methods like security cameras, Target also employs several in-store security guards to combat loss prevention and ultimately keep the peace.

While there are clearly identified Target security guards in-store, Target also employs undercover personnel, often dressed in regular clothes and posed as ordinary shoppers, to monitor the situation and prevent potential issues.

What Are Target’s Investigation Centers?

Target owns and operates 23 investigation centers and 2 forensic centers where the security footage from their cameras and various other methods are relayed back to and studied.

Target’s forensic services laboratory is actually one of 390 crime labs accredited by the American Society of Crime Laboratory/ Laboratory Accreditation board due to their dedication to developing audio, visual and latent print technologies.

Target operates these facilities for a number of reasons, particularly to ensure the safety of staff and shoppers in Target stores.

Additionally, Target uses its centers to challenge organized retail crime, loss of merchandise, and violent felonies.

The forensic centers Target operates also help assist in other investigations, making them an all-around asset to preventing crime.

What Happens If You Steal from Target?

Target has a number of measures and procedures to combat loss prevention.

If you attempt to steal from Target, you may be permanently banned from the premises and escorted off-site any time you attempt to enter.

Additionally, you may be interviewed by a member of Target’s Asset Protection scheme, where you may be liable to further criminal charges.

Target workers online have also used public shaming as a deterrent. If Target workers witness theft in-store, some state they will calmly approach the customer and request the item be returned.

However, with aggressive thieves, Target workers will be required to call the police for their own and other employees’ and customers’ safety.

Will I Be Arrested If I Steal from Target?

As well as running its own surveillance operations, Target also has close connections with local police departments and will respond quickly to incidents of suspected shoplifting.

Penalties for theft at Target may include community service, fines, and even imprisonment.

Target’s extensive camera system will likely have caught the act, leaving you little room to deny it.

To learn more, you can see our related posts on the Target shoplifting policy, the Best Buy shoplifting policy, and what sets of Walmart door alarms.


In short, yes, Target does monitor their cameras thoroughly and frequently as part of its wide-scale crime prevention policy.

Target has one of the most sophisticated security systems of any retailer, even offering facial recognition through its camera monitoring.

These systems, and additional help from their investigation and forensic centers, can help Target monitor and prevent crime loss, whilst also protecting shoppers.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of

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