Store manager sick of plague of shoplifters
Lisa Toko is worried prolific shoplifting will leave her unemployed.
Since becoming the manager at Pricebusters Naenae, she has dealt with shoplifters on a daily basis.
Monitoring the CCTV cameras she is amazed by what people steal. ‘‘We had a guy yesterday who stole some $2.75 pegs.’’
Some appear to have a sweet tooth.
‘‘We had a lady who came in and stole all our Cadbury chocolate. She took some in the morning and came back in the afternoon and took the rest.’’
As well as chocolate, shoplifters have recently targeted scissors and hardware tools.
The owner has told her that the losses are having a major impact. ‘‘He said we will have to make the shop smaller or perhaps even close it.’’
Shoplifters are not her only worry. An ATM in front of the shop attracts beggars, who she claims intimidate the elderly into giving them money.
One elderly man came into the shop after being asked for money. He was too scared to go back to his car so she rang the police, who said they would come but never did. ‘‘We had to walk him back to his car.’’
Although she understood that police were stretched, Toko would like them to be more proactive and visible.
Sergeant Stephen Cross said police relied on the public for information and urged anyone with concerns to ring the police.
He recently arrested three shoplifters who had targeted Pricebusters and said the police would respond to complaints.
Dealing with beggars was, however, not straight forward. His officers knew who the beggars were and they often had accommodation and received a benefit.
It was not illegal to beg, unless it was threatening or under false pretences. Beggars used false stories for sympathy and he said police warned beggars not to mislead people.
‘‘It is an offence to ask people for money under false pretences.’’
Ultimately, he said, begging was a social problem and the community needed to find the answer.
One dairy owner in the area said shoplifters were his biggest headache.
‘‘They just come in and grab stuff and run away.’’
The police followed up on the video but the culprits were often young and knew it was hard to do anything to stop them.
‘‘The girls are the worst. They use bad language and get very aggressive. They are terrible.’’
Lisa Toko is fed up with shoplifters targeting her Naenae store.