I work at Michaels and we have a lot of theft in our store, but there is nothing the employees can do about it. Nowadays you don't know what the person will do to you. I've heard stories of people putting stuff in their bag right in front of someone, the employee telling them they saw it, asking them to pay for it, and if they don't comply, that's it. You let them walk out. If you accuse them of something, you never know if you'll get shot or beat up!
As far as the alarm system, you have to put a sticker or something on each package. The high value item that's frequently stolen at our store is the crystal beads. All the customer has to do is pull off the packaging/sticker and take the beads. There's no way to make it work. The high dollar large items are locked up (Cricut, airbrushes, etc.) You would not believe how high the theft is our store. It's so sad. I can't believe how many people that don't care about laws or other's property! Crazy world we live in!