InVue style OM Key

InVue OM Key FobThe InVue OM Key is a device used to open locking display hooks and stop locks (i.e. hanging merchandise). The detacher is not as well known as some of the other magnetic keys on the market, such as the S3 Handkey, as its distribution is closely guarded by InVue. Checkpoint Systems, Inc. acquired InVue in 2007, which was formerly known as Alpha Security.

According to the company, the OM (orthogonal magnet) Key generates a perpendicular force that provides a more secure interface. This means that a standard neodymium magnet, no matter how small or big, won’t work. In fact it doesn’t matter how strong the grade of magnet is because, in this case, the strength of the magnet is irrelevant.

Take a close look at the two key holes below (one at the rear, and one at the front):

InVue display hook & stop lock

You can see that the insertion points are uniquely shaped (the OM Key opens both). At the rear of the display hook the OM Key releases the locking mechanism from the wall (or slat-board), so that the entire hook can be repositioned (or removed). Toward the front of the display hook, the OM Key inserts into the stop lock, and allows the user to remove it, along with the desired number of items from the display. Stores that already have their own display hooks can use the stop lock device by itself, because it prevents merchandise being removed while in place.

One thing to point out here, is that the InVue stop locks pictured further above are not the same as a stop lock without an insertion point (as shown here). Standard stop lockThe red stop lock in this image can be easily opened with a Pocket Detacher because it doesn’t contain any special aspects to its design, and works much like a normal security tag. We tested the OM Key on this type of stop lock and it didn’t work, simply because it wasn’t as strong as the Pocket Detacher. So, it seems its use is limited to a specific design purpose.

OM Keys aren’t widely available, but we tracked down a generic version from a store at Tag-It! Security. Cost is US$49.95, plus shipping. The package from this vendor was shipped from the United States, and took about five days to arrive.

InVue stop locks are also used to secure shelf anchors (passing a wire through each piece of merchandise), as demonstrated in the last step of this video:



15,000GS universal magnetic Cone SuperLock Detacher

The stronger the magnet, the more quickly and easily you will be able to remove security tags. So if you’ve ever been stuck in a situation where your magnetic detacher doesn’t perform in a timely fashion, it might be time for you to invest in a device that’s guaranteed to be in the 15,000+ Gauss range. Not every tag needs a detacher this powerful, but as manufacturers continue to evolve and make stronger security tags, this might be the right choice for the future.

Naturally, more powerful magnets come at a greater cost but, relatively speaking, there’s not a huge difference. The 15,000GS Cone SuperLock Detacher sold by Detacher Co. comes at a price of US$124.95, shipped. That’s about US$25.00 more than a detacher rated with 12,000GS. It’s 500 grams (1.10lb.) in weight, has a diameter of 75mm (2.95in), and a height of 40mm (1.57in).

The extra power comes from the larger, higher grade, inner neodymium magnets. From the design, we can also tell that the head of the magnet sits flush against the top of the alcove, giving it greater proximity to any hard tag that is placed on top. And if you look even closer, you will notice a subtle crater that surrounds this area. Reason being, it adapts the device to clam shell (or ‘golf’) tags that have the same shape. Basically, this means you get the best of both worlds because it doesn’t matter whether your tags are round, dimpled, cone shaped, or whatever.

Is there anything this detacher doesn’t open? Short answer; yes, it doesn’t open SuperTags… But you should be aware by now that this post is discussing RF (not AM) security tags. This is because pretty much all RF tags are magnetic based, and need a strong magnetic force to open them. Conversely, Sensormatic SuperTags, which are acousto magnetic (AM) in design, require a Sensormatic Hook to open – and the hook is a key – not a magnet.

Check out the video below where this detacher is tested, opened up and dismantled..

Vendor Review: shopliftinggear.com

Edit: Ceased operating on July 14, 2013 – read further below for details.

As at May 11, 2013, a newcomer has entered the playing field and, we can tell you, it will be short lived. If the name wasn’t already obvious enough, this vendor unashamedly registered a domain name that describes an illegal activity. As a result, they put the industry at risk by directly associating tag removal devices with an intention to steal. Simply put, irresponsible vendors like this don’t belong in the market.

We’re in the process of dismantling this little operation, and here is what we have achieved so far:

  1. We reported their Facebook page for promoting prohibited activities and had it removed (www.facebook.com/shopliftinggear now redirects to homepage).
  2. We contacted PayPal and advised that this vendor was breaching their terms of service by using the PayPal brand to promote illegal activity (anyone who buys from this vendor also risks their PayPal account being ‘permanently limited’).
  3. Even Zoklet doesn’t like this guy! All posts made by the same username (shopliftinggear) have been deleted, courtesy of moderators.
  4. We have published the name and address of the owner (see further below).

As with another obsolete website, commonthief.com, originally owned by a user under the alias of Ampix0, this vendor will soon realise they will be forced out of operation once PayPal cuts them off.

Do they actually ship the items ordered? We don’t know yet, but if they last long enough we’ll test them out – so you don’t have to….

Update (July 14, 2013): It took a while, but shopliftinggear.com has had their PayPal account permanently limited: As a result, the website can no longer conduct business. If you were unlucky enough to order from this vendor, we recommend that you contact PayPal immediately, place a buyer’s dispute, and request a full refund.

sl-gearThe vendor’s name and address have been published here in order to assist those seeking a refund or recourse for their flagged or ‘limited’ PayPal account, which has become unwillingly associated with this ‘high risk’ user.

Dylan Leger
101 Keeneland
Lafayette, LA 70506
United States
+1 (337) 315-1201

Mini Pocket Detacher

Mini Pocket DetacherOne of the newer products to come onto the tag removal market is the mini Pocket Detacher. There are a lot of questions being asked about this device, so we’ll attempt to address some of those here. Basically, it’s a portable magnetic detacher that’s opens most (but not all) types of RF tags. Even though the magnetic force is not as powerful as the Golf SuperLock Detacher (FX7), it measures a tiny 58mm (2.3″) in height, with a 22mm (0.9″) diameter, making it much smaller and easier to carry. It weighs about 200 grams (about 0.5lbs), and is reported to measure between 5,000 and 6,000 Gauss.

First off, let’s take a look at a YouTube video which demonstrates some of the security tags this little pocket rocket can remove:

There is clearly a certain degree of trade-off with this product in terms of its portability versus the strength of the magnet. The video shows that it’s not as easy to remove the pins from some of the tags, and it does not work at all on the larger golf-type (rounded) security tags. However, it seems the technique to open some of the tags (by using a light tap when placed onto the magnet) can benefit in the aid of its removal.

Where did the product originate?

We tried to find out who invented this device, mainly because it doesn’t seem like the type of product Checkpoint Systems (manufacturers of RF based security systems) would supply to the market, as it makes it easy for shoplifters to defeat some of their security tags. SenTech appears to be one of the first to market with a device called the ‘hand-held magnetic detacher, with black lanyard‘. It’s not the same product as the mini Pocket Detacher, but the concept is along the same lines of what is trying to be achieved. One of our industry contacts supplied us with correspondence they made with a Chinese manufacturer of EAS goods, at which point they were trying to negotiate an arrangement for production of a similar device. While we can’t confirm this, after those negotiations failed, it seems that the Pocket Detacher was released only a number of months after this occurred. So, we theorise that the device may have stemmed from the interception of somebody’s intellectual property.

How much does it cost?

Detacher Co. sells the Pocket Detacher at around US$50, plus shipping, it costs less than a standard magnetic detacher, but because of its small size it might be easy to lose. For this reason make sure you loop a lanyard in the small hole located on the device. Also, due to the relatively powerful magnet, it’s best not to use the hole for attaching to a key ring, or any other metal object. It does include a screw-off cap to cover the internal magnet, but the magnetic field can still penetrate this.

Vendor Review: detachers.net

One of the less known vendors, operating from a website at www.detachers.net, has been around since February 2011, keeping a relatively low profile. We assert ‘low profile’ due to the small number of videos posted on YouTube, and a lack of social network presence. Nevertheless, in order to investigate the credibility, authenticity and perhaps the size of the website and its market share, we did a little digging…

The domain is owned and registered by a UK entity under the name of Arksway Limited. This is somewhat interesting, because it is one of only three vendors with an officially registered business name (the other two being Detacher Co, owned by Tag-It! Security, and VP EAS Accessories, owned by Michael Filev, a.k.a. ViniPooh). As far as we know, Arksway Limited is not associated with any other vendors, and only operates this one website.

But is this business actually real? According to cdrex.com, the business has an address in Derbyshire, England, and was incorporated in 2009. Their listed secretary was Bronius Markovas. We checked to see if this person was also the owner, but their appointment as secretary ended in 2011, and their records have not been updated since. Further research uncovered that the owner is Mr Arkady Elkin.

So, the business is in fact real, and one can even purchase company documents, such as yearly account statements. We stopped short of that, but did discover that their last capital reporting figure was £2.00 (as at March 21, 2012).

Anyway, what does this all say about www.detachers.net? Well, for one, this tells us that they ship from the United Kingdom. That might be good for customers that live there, but for US customers, and perhaps elsewhere too, there are no shipping options available whatsoever(as at February 17, 2013). The prices are also listed in pounds.

Norton gives the site a big question mark, and there are no customer reviews anywhere on the web. This is probably due to their limited client base being in the UK. Given this fact, we’ll end our research here, until such time we receive any information, complaints or otherwise, from our users.