How to Remove a Security Tag
Level of difficulty:
Security tags are basically the result of EAS (Electronic Article Surveillance) technology. EAS is an attempt to prevent theft and shoplifting which plague many retail stores including the pilferaging of books from public libraries. These security tags are attached to the merchandise to activate it automatically and are only deactivated at the cashier once the item is properly paid for by the customer at checkout. These types of protection mechanisms are deployed together with sensor devices commonly placed at the exit or entrance points of the store. They sound off alarms once the security tag is passed through it. This surveillance system, although magnetic (magneto-harmonic) based, has spawned to included variants like magnetostrictive (Acousto-magnetic), radio frequency, Bluetooth, and microwave among others.
- Flathead screwdriver
- saw blade or thin pocket knife
- horse nippers
The security tag is positioned in such a way that simply cutting out the protected merchandise will be out of the question because it will result in extensive damage. The initial step is to firmly place the item on the floor or any flat surface with the rectangular part of the tag facing towards you.
Use the thin pocket knife or screwdriver to pry out the edge of the raised square pyramid and press down hard on it. This is done to break the plastic where the head is located. Repeat this process until the raised square pyramid can be removed completely.
Alternately, the horse nippers can be used to remove as much portion of the raised square pyramid as possible. Removing this node will prove helpful at the later steps.
After successfully removing the plastic backing, a small metal spike will be revealed which is actually the locking mechanism of the security tag. Remove the silver paper lining covering the metal plate underneath. Direct access to this metal plate is required to remove the security tag.
Take the screwdriver or any thin flat tool like a saw blade and lift up one of the metal locks that hold the locking pin in place. You will notice a spring-like mechanism that compresses all the internal elements together.
This spring mechanism makes the lifting of the locking arms more difficult than it appears. Just exert a bit more effort and there is no need to budge it before the pin actually slides out of the security tag.
In case the pin does not automatically slide out of the free hole and out of the clothing, take the hammer and place the security tag on its side. Hit the side of the security tag until the spring mechanism comes loose and releases the pin.
When the plastic cracks, the pin should automatically slide out freeing the item from the security tag.