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Drama at the Co-op

(134 Posts)
M0nica Wed 02-Jan-19 23:01:47

On Friday DD was walking down to our local Co-op. Picture pretty village, very Miss Marple, timber frame houses, tree lined green. As DD reaches, quite small Co-op, she sees two cars parked outside, nothing unusual about that, when a man runs out of the shop with a carrier bag, jumps into the first car, and the driver, described as a large older women (which one of you was it? Confessgrin) immediately revved up cut into the traffic and speeded off, at which point one of the staff rushed out of the store, saying 'He has stolen all our smoked salmon!'

A lady who had been standing beside him at the cool cabinet when he loaded his bag with smoked salmon, and some steaks, not knowing he didn't intend to pay, said he turned to her and said 'I love smoked salmon.

It was what happened then that was the biggest shock. Someone asked whether the police had been rung and the staff member said 'No point, they only investigate if £200 worth of goods has been stolen. She then said that this type of grab and run food theft happens several times a week, as with this case, high value food, not basic necessities and they have given one of the worst culprits a name!

lemongrove Wed 02-Jan-19 23:04:18


merlotgran Wed 02-Jan-19 23:05:00

If somebody stole all the smoked salmon from our village shop they'd be lucky to have enough to fill a sandwich.

MiniMoon Wed 02-Jan-19 23:11:39

My DH still works part time for the Co-op. I can vouch for your story M0nica it happens here too. They also know who the main culprits are.

Lollin Wed 02-Jan-19 23:14:50

HQ i need a jaw dropped to the floor "smiley"

grannyactivist Wed 02-Jan-19 23:27:50

My town has a self-reporting system for shoplifters that basically means the shopkeeper has to spend an hour or so filling in forms - and so they don't usually bother. However, they do operate a 'cascade system', this is a telephone warning used by shopkeepers to alert one another that a suspected shoplifter is about and the suspect is then literally followed around each store until they give up and leave.
The police just don't have the resources they need in order to tackle 'low level' crimes.

lemongrove Wed 02-Jan-19 23:32:28

It’s only a small Co-op ( in Monica’s story) so the manager or an assistant could easily spot a well known shoplifter and either ban him or follow him around the store.
If they don’t bother, that’s up to them.

Jalima1108 Wed 02-Jan-19 23:39:49

I can remember years ago seeing an old lady filling her pockets with packs of butter, cheese etc in the Co-op in a Devon town.
She then went outside and caught the bus.

MissAdventure Wed 02-Jan-19 23:49:13

Some shops here have the cctv images of shoplifters put up for people to see.

agnurse Thu 03-Jan-19 02:50:18

Sadly, from what I understand, food theft is VERY common in the UK. I believe this food is commonly sold on the black market as a way of bypassing VAT.

absent Thu 03-Jan-19 05:38:48

Stealing food because you or your family are hungry is illegal but, I think, understandable and forgivable. In those circumstances, I would guess that what you would steal is what is easiest to get away with and most filling, so it might include smoked salmon, but probably not. Stealing food because you like it, but it is a bit expensive and you are not prepared to pay for it, is not forgivable and is wrong.

Teetime Thu 03-Jan-19 06:41:17

I was in an M and S Food when I saw a man stiff lotas of steaks into his jacket and run. I told the staff who said 'oh the meat thief is back' and thats all that happened

BradfordLass72 Thu 03-Jan-19 07:09:34

When I saw this thread I immediately thought of the late Arthur Marshal who once misheard a BBC news item and thought he'd heard, 'Fighting has broken out in Debenhams' imagining a full scale fracas for directoire knickers. It was 'Lebanon' of course.

One of the reasons packaging is getting harder to open is because people open them instore and eat cheesecake, sweets, you name it. They even take aspirin blister packs and put the box back and drink milk and other drinks, again replacing the bottles.

Greenfinch Thu 03-Jan-19 07:13:56

Apparently another ruse is to take a basket,fill it with everyday cheap items and one expensive item.They would look like an ordinary shopper but then they ditch the basket in a quiet aisle and nonchalantly walk out of the shop with the expensive item.

kittylester Thu 03-Jan-19 07:29:07

DD2 worked in a supermarket as a student and they used to follow known shoplifters around until one member of staff was pushed over and broke her arm.

I'm not sure it is done as a way of avoiding VAT, agnurse. I think it is mostly sold in the pub.

We have a village Co-op which is often ram-raided.

Grannyknot Thu 03-Jan-19 07:44:24

I've lost count of the number of times I've come home from my local Tesco to discover e.g. the foil top of a boxed litre of fruit juice lifted and someone has had a good glug (yuk), screwed the plastic cap back on and put it back on the shelf, ripped off one pack of a double pack of goods - on one occasion the cashier said to me "this should be a two-pack" (of pasta), I hadn't noticed, and most recently, removed one mince pie very cleverly from a box of 12. It makes me so mad when I'm caught out by these petty thieves! I literally have to check every item.

I'm forever seeing half-eaten sandwiches on the shelves too.

In my local Co-op I've heard a "code XX" announcement and all the staff bar 1 cashier will come from all over the store and follow someone or a group around. That and the stares of the rest of the customers, usually has the suspects leave the shop!

NfkDumpling Thu 03-Jan-19 08:10:29

It makes me mad that honest folk have to pay extra to cover the costs of theft.

It’s not the shop owners and shareholders who bear the cost that’s for sure.

M0nica Thu 03-Jan-19 08:16:11

What I do not understand is why the shop doesn't have a one of those one way push through low gates just after you walk in. Lots of shops have these.

There is only one door but the tills run parallel with the front facade so they could the gates just beyond where that exits. It wouldn't stop all shop-lifting, but if you have to run down the rest of one aisle, up another and past the till, it would make grab and run thefts like the one DD saw much more difficult.

GrannyGravy13 Thu 03-Jan-19 08:33:53

Had a shoplifter before Christmas, AC put their CCTV image on Facebook, twitter etc.

Within an hour they had their name and first thing the following morning the shoplifter rang and demanded they take down CCTV image.

AC declined, within the hour the Shoplifter was back on the premises to pay for what had been stolen, full list price!!! Only then did they remove the image from social media.

Apparently the person involved makes a habit of buying a small price item and then "lifting" a more expensive item, can only hope they learnt their lesson!!!

EllanVannin Thu 03-Jan-19 08:35:56

The years I've spent shopping at my local Asda and I've never seen any sign of theft. I'm not saying it can't/doesn't happen but there's never been anything untoward when I've been there--------and this is the NW ! I know there are sensors when you exit but they'd be for certain items.

If I was stealing anything it certainly wouldn't be smoked salmon, yuk. This thief was obviously out to sell it rather than eat it I would imagine. I loathe theft of any sort.

sodapop Thu 03-Jan-19 08:43:28

This sounded quite funny initially but then reality kicked in. As NfkDumpling said the rest of us have to bear the cost of this theft. People are quite brazen about taking a sandwich or other snacks as well as more costly items. I like Grannygravy's solution.

Anja Thu 03-Jan-19 09:21:02

One big advantage of social media is these criminal can get their faces known on social media. Shame them.

Luckygirl Thu 03-Jan-19 09:37:24

I have never seen anyone shoplift anywhere, ever - I must lead a very sheltered life!

jessycake Thu 03-Jan-19 09:56:37

Yes its a sad fact of our times , my sister works in the co op and they just have to accept it . Worse still is that kids are doing it for sweets and drinks as well knowing they can't do a thing . A bunch of young kids walked out with beer from our Morrisons.

nannahood Thu 03-Jan-19 10:00:42

what do we pay our taxes for? I thought it was for police services