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)
  • Sunglasses
  • Clothes
  • I-gear products (phone chargers)
  • Spray paint
  • Glue
  • Entertainment products (cables)
  • Greetings cards
  • Beauty products
  • Vitamins
  • Alcoholic spirits
  • Pre-mix alcohol
  • Soft drinks
  • Chips
  • Cabana sausages
  • Fake eye-lashes

Criminal Behaviour

Theft:

  • Department store staff were notified through their headsets of a potential shoplifter. Upon leaving, the individual refused staff requests for a bag check. Staff asked her to wait as they called the police. Coincidentally, an undercover Police Officer was nearby, completed a bag search and discovered $500 worth of stock. The individual was charged, prosecuted, and because it was not her first offence, was subsequently deported.
  • Reports of an individual stealing the entrance carpet from a newsagency. Another reported their rubbish bin stolen from the front counter.
  • An individual has recently stolen a trolley full of grocery items. The individual waited at the entrance for someone to enter the one-way gate and ran off. Staff estimate a $300 loss.
  • Reports of an individual shoplifting items by concealing them behind her toddler in a pram.
  • A pharmacy reported an individual filling a basket with over $300 worth of products before walking out of the store.
  • A staff member reported witnessing an individual shoplifting. The individual had two bags on her persons. When leaving, the staff requested a bag check. The woman presented one bag and when asked to show the second bag the woman pretended not to hear and exited the store.

Group Offending:

  • A liquor store is experiencing a major issue with a group of young females. The group has targeted the store four times in the past fortnight and is growing in members. The first incident involved four individuals stealing $250 worth of goods and most recently nine individuals stole $1,000 worth.
  • A discount store was experiencing massive stock loss with a group of youths stealing spray paint and glue. The owner now no longer offers the product.
  • A charity store reported two female youths looking at clothes and gathering them together in a pile. The pair left and 10 minutes later, a third individual entered the store, went directly to the pile, collected it and exited the store. Amongst the items was a $400 jacket that retails for $2,000.

Snatch and Run:

  • A tobacconist reported an individual stealing a packet of cigarettes out of the assistant’s hand and running off. The assistant stated that this has happened on multiple occasions and always from people you would not suspect.

Fraudulent Activity

  • Refund Fraud: A group of males have targeted a store on multiple occasions committing refund fraud. The individuals will take an item to the counter and when given the eftpos machine they will provide themselves with a refund. The retailer is then losing both the product and the money.
  • Stolen Credit Cards: A store has encountered multiple offences where individuals have used stolen credit cards in store. Stolen cards from deceased persons have been fraudulently used.

Aggressive and Anti-Social Behaviour

  • A staff member reported intervening with a group of females shoplifting. One individual threatened to smash a bottle of alcohol over the staff members’  head. Another said that she would kill him if he touched her.
  • An undercover Police Officer caught an individual stealing in a grocery store. When checking the individual’s identification, it become apparent that the individual had three warrants out for his arrest. The manager of the store holds concerns as to what would have happened if staff members had tried to intervene.
  • Reports of an incident where a male entered a store with a push bike. The retail assistant asked the individual to leave the bike outside. The individual became aggressive and verbally abused the staff member.
  • An incident occurred last week where a staff member confronted an individual about stealing. The individual then got aggressive and made racial slurs toward the assistant.
  • A staff member greeted a group of youths entering the store. The individuals became aggressive towards the staff member swearing at her. She felt threatened as she was outnumbered.
  • A group of youths recently got into a physical fight in the middle of a shopping centre.
  • A retail assistant has stated that she has had encounters with aggressive individuals when asking to do bag checks. The individuals who get aggressive are those who have done the wrong thing.

General Feedback

  • A shopping centre holds “Blitz” days once a month. This consists of six to eight undercover Police Officers patrolling the shopping centre. The last Blitz day resulted in catching eight offenders, pressing thirty-two charges and preventing $900 worth of lost product in one store alone.
  • Retail assistants are becoming more aware of the importance of not stereotyping offenders of retail crime.
  • Centre management teams urge retailers to report all incidents of theft to the Police regardless of the value. Centre management often cannot act to prevent theft unless police contact is made.

 

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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