The following trends in retail crime have been witnessed by Brisbane retailers over the past few weeks, as relayed across the National Retail Association 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

  • Pop Vinyl figurines
  • Cap guns
  • Gaming headsets
  • Gaming controllers
  • Magazines (adult magazines)
  • Lighters
  • Picture Frames
  • Beer mugs
  • Sunglasses
  • Skin Care products
  • Beauty products
  • DVD’s
  • Op shop clothing and jewellery
  • Soft Drink
  • Confectionery
  • Potato Chips
  • Outdoor décor
  • Knife Blocks
  • Essential Oils

Criminal Behaviour

Theft:

  • Bottle shop staff witnessed an individual filling a reusable shopping bag with multiple bottles of spirits valued over $300 and walking out. Company policy prevents staff from intervening.
  • Retail staff witnessed an incident where a male brazenly placed a Chucky Doll valued over $100 in his trolley and exited the store.
  • An op shop reported an incident where an individual entered with an empty backpack and tried items on. When exiting the store, staff noticed the backpack was bigger and assume that the individual had shoplifted items by concealing them in her backpack.
  • A boutique has had a male brazenly steal their outside decorative bird statue.
  • A retail assistant witnessed a 10 year old boy steal a cap gun. Later, an elderly female shoplifted an item in her handbag.

Group Offending:

  • Three young individuals are targeting an op shop. One distracts the retail assistant, one observes the store and the third individual steals the items.

Price Swapping:

  • A gaming shop retailer had an individual attempt to price swap a $100 game with a $30 price tag. When staff noticed the error, the individual became angry.
  • An op shop manager reported having a major issue with price swapping and suspects that the individuals are swapping price tags in the change room.

Repeat Offending: 

  • A store has reported an individual stealing two Pop Vinyl figurines whilst staff were serving other customers. The stolen items were not discovered until later that day. On a second occasion, the staff member witnessed the incident and intervened. CCTV confirmed that it was the same individual.
  • Pharmacy staff have found empty skin care boxes on the shelves on multiple occasions. Staff suspect it is the same individual stealing items every couple of weeks.
  • A small boutique retail assistant has frequent altercations with an individual that shoplifts from their store and the surrounding stores. Despite being banned, the individual enters the store during busy periods and steals whatever she can.

Aggressive and Anti-Social Behaviour

Loitering:

  • A bottle shop has noted an increase in individuals loitering in the back carpark. An individual recently attempted to enter the store through their back door. The assistant stated the individual is known to steal items in the area.
  • Shopping centre retailers had to call police and an ambulance to assist a drug affected individual loitering outside their shops. The man was also preventing customers from entering.

Verbal Abuse:

  • A retail assistant has had racial slurs directed at her for not having a certain product available.
  • A store has encountered a lot of abuse regarding their return policies, on multiple occasions the individuals have used profane words.
  • A local newsagency is a pick-up depot for couriers and frequently experiences verbal abuse and aggressive behaviour from customers  trying to locate their parcel. Their behaviour worsens when asked to call the courier.

Underage Purchasing:

  • A convenience store has received aggression from youths trying to purchase cigarettes. When asked for ID they make excuses and ask for an exception as they are only purchasing one packet.

General Feedback

  • A lot of retailers are frustrated with police response time when dealing with urgent matters of theft, a lot of assistants feel as if the police don’t care.
  • Retailers are noticing an increase in aggression the closer it gets to Christmas.
  • Retail assistants are becoming more aware of the importance on not stereotyping offenders of retail crime.
  • A retail assistant has noticed an increase in aggressive behaviour on the streets due to the proximity to employment agencies.

 

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.

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