The following trends in retail crime have been witnessed by Brisbane retailers over the past few weeks, as relayed across the NRA SafeCity Network.

Thank you to all of the retailers reporting these crimes and trends.
The more we all report, the more we all know.

Products being targeted

  • Fragrances (Perfume)
  • Alcoholic Spirits
  • Wine
  • Vitamins
  • Skin Care Products
  • Make-up
  • Gloves
  • Chocolate Bars/Lollies
  • Small suit cases
  • Sunglasses
  • Bicycle riding gloves
  • Aqua Strips (For testing ph. levels in pools)

Criminal Behaviour

Counterfeit Notes:

  • A local bakery has received several counterfeit $50 notes. The notes had been presented at peak times when staff were too busy to notice that the banknote was not genuine. They also could not identify the customer who had presented it. The notes were quickly identified as counterfeit when the store was quieter. The team at the bakery cooperated with police in an effort to find the suspects.
  • A tobacco store has also received counterfeit bank notes.The staff member was inexperienced and very busy. All team members have now received training in how to identify counterfeit notes.
    Click here for a quick reference guide to identifying counterfeit banknotes.

Fraudulent Activity:

  • A bicycle company has encountered a string of fraudulent activities where individuals were purchasing bicycles on stolen credit cards and then later asking for them to refunded on to another card.The individuals went to stores all over Brisbane conducting this activity.

Attempted Theft:

  • Reports of an individual attempting to steal a bicycle valued at over $4,000.The individual wandered around the store and started to look on the display rack outside. He then grabbed a bicycle located in the doorway of the store and rode off. A staff member jumped on another bicycle and gave chase. The thief jumped off the bicycle and ran off, leaving the bicycle for the staff member to retrieve.
  • Another bicycle shop has had an encounter with a high school student who stole a bicycle from the front of their store. He managed to get away but a staff member recognised the school uniform and visited the school the next day. The bicycle was located in the school bike racks. The staff member cross referenced the serial number to confirm that it was indeed the stolen bicycle and was able to retrieve it.

Casing the premises:

  • A jewellery store has observed a customer wandering around the store tapping the glass counters, possibly to identify the thickness of the glass. The customer also made comments regarding the number of staff in the store at the time.The staff were able to print off a photo from their CCTV and circulate it to other jewellery stores in the centre. The photo was also passed on to the police. The man was known to the police.

Break and Enters:

  • A convenience store was robbed by breaking the glass front door. Multiple products were stolen. An attempt was made to access the safe and the register but this was not successful.
  • An ice cream store was robbed after hours by breaking the glass front door.The individuals then gained access to the back room of the store where they broke into the safe and stole all the cash inside.

Thefts:

  • A middle-aged female filled 2 shopping baskets with perfumes at a chemist store.The individual then walked straight out of the store brazenly stealing hundreds of dollars’ worth of products.
  • A female opened a tooth brush and tooth paste in the middle of a chemist store then proceeded to brush her child’s teeth. When exiting the store, she refused to pay for the toothbrush and the tooth paste.
  • Reports of a male in his 60’s stealing a bottle of spirits from a liquor store. The individual wandered the store looking at products. He then purchased 2 cigars valued at $40 each. After he had left the store the retail assistant noticed a bottle in the spirits section was missing. The retail assistant went to take down the car registration of the gentleman. He was driving a late model BMW M sport.The retail assistant stated that you can’t pick who is a thief these days!
  • Reports of an individual stealing a small suitcase. The individual entered the store looking at a variety of suitcases. When the retail assistant was serving another customer, they walked out casually with the small suitcase.
  • Two males have stolen gloves from a local costume shop. It is reported that the males where arguing over the price of the gloves with staff and then stole the items instead.
  • Reports of a middle-aged female stealing a label maker from a local news agent. The individual looked around the store. As soon as the retail assistant was serving another customer, she shoved a label maker valued at over $50 in her handbag.
  • A young primary school boy has been taught a lesson by his parents. The young boy stole a 40c lolly from a news agency. Once his parents found out, they marched him into the store to apologise for the theft and to pay them the money owing for the lolly.

Scammers:

  • Reports of an individual entering a sports store pretending to be deaf asking for money for the bus service. The staff member tried to explain to the individual that they can’t do that. The retail staff then saw the individual later having a verbal conversation with a friend down the street.

Fake Food Orders:

  • A fast food store has recently encountered a lot of fake orders both takeaway and delivery. Individuals are using false names, phone numbers and addresses.Then the order is never picked up or delivery drivers turn up with residents at the given address unaware of the order. One of the fake orders was over $150 worth of food.

Vandalism:

  • A local butcher has been vandalised by a group of protesters. The protesters graffitied the front of the building protesting against eating meat.

Aggressive Behaviour

  • A lady in her 60’s entered a store complaining about the time it was taking to fix her bicycle. She slammed her bag on the counter and continued to hit the counter intimidating a staff member. A staff member at the back of the store heard the commotion and intervened.
  • A convenience store owner has an issue with minors attempting to purchase cigarettes.When they decline to serve them, they get aggressive toward staff.
  • A manager has identified that they experience most of their aggression from customers in the afternoon.
  • A retail assistant has stated that they experience a lot of aggression from customers over the phone.
  • A retail assistant has been physically pushed out of the way by a customer after the staff member asked to check the individuals bag.
  • A delivery driver has received verbal abuse from customers about online deliveries.
  • A customer threatened a retail assistant when a discount was refused at a charity store. The item was already heavily discounted. The customer backed the retail assistant into a corner.
  • A retail assistant reported that their team is fed up with how often they experience aggressive customers. Last week their staff dealt with aggressive customers 4 days straight.

General Feedback

  • Items located close to the door or in hidden corners of the store are primary targets for opportunistic thieves.
  • Small items are the most common items to be stolen.
  • Retailers are frustrated with the response and effectiveness of police.
  • Retailers are frustrated with the media’s influence on the public in regards to expecting staff to give a discounted price.

 

About the SafeCity Network

The National Retail Association’s SafeCity Network brings together retailers, government and law enforcement to better inform and equip retailers to reduce retail crime.

On 1 March 2018, the NRA launched the SafeCity Network as a trial in Brisbane aimed at increasing collaboration and insight between retailers to reduce retail crime. By reducing crime over the long term, the program aims to attract more shoppers and visitors, and ultimately create a more vibrant, safer retail precincts.

Participants in the SafeCity Network gain access to regular crime alerts and bulletins based on real-world intelligence shared by other retailers.

LEARN MORE