High-tech gadget targets turkey thieves

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(NBC News) Supermarkets anticipate thousands of turkeys will be smuggled out of their stores this Thanksgiving, but new technology is putting a target on thieves, to catch them in the act.

StopLift uses artificial intelligence to analyze overhead video and spot unscanned items.

"It takes video snippet sends to wrist device worn by self-checkout attendant," explains Malay Kundu with StopLift.

The attendant is alerted in real time, and can check the customer's cart immediately. It can also flag loopholes in the weight-based security system, such as ringing in a turkey as bananas.

Another problem: "sweethearting." That's when a cashier slips items by the scanner for a friend or family member. StopLift flags that too, and notifies the manager of the potential theft.

That's a big deal because grocery stores operate on razor-thin margins, meaning for every turkey stolen, they'll have to sell 50 more to make up for the loss.

The artificial intelligence can also help prevent false alerts, like when you accidentally set a handbag in the bagging area.