Suspected shoplifters left with nowhere to hide during Christmas
Posted on 15/11/2022
While who they are may not yet be known, the clock is ticking for dozens of suspected retail thieves thanks to a new campaign – and people in the community are the crime-solving weapon needed to identify them.
The campaign – which is a partnership between Crime Stoppers, SA Police and the State Government –will run throughout the seasonally busy Christmas and New Year shopping period.
Crime Stoppers South Australia CEO, Mr Nigel Smart, said the campaign looked to identify suspected professional thieves and gangs actively stealing from SA retailers, with nearly 13,000 shoplifting incidents reported across SA over a recent 12-month period.
“Retail crime costs us all. Every single theft and robbery impacts on sustainability of a business and ultimately increases the cost of goods to consumers – and these suspects are at the forefront of that growing theft epidemic,” Mr Smart said.
“As we head towards the busiest period of the year for retailers, we are targeting opportunistic thieves, professionals who steal to order, right through to organised gangs who swarm a store, distract staff and make off with thousands of dollars of stock in one incident,” he said.
“By encouraging people to submit an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers about a suspected shoplifter’s identity they don’t have to worry about making a formal statement to police, provide any personal details or getting involved.”
Minister for Police Joe Szakacs warned shop lifters that SA Police are watching.
“There are many tools at the disposal of police to catch a range of crimes, including shop lifting,” Minister Szakacs said.
“Don’t for one second think there is an easy way to get away with committing retail theft. You will get caught.”
Inspector Julian Coram, SAPOL’s Operation Support Coordinator (Metro Ops Service) said: “SA Police continues to target people who steal or behave aggressively towards retail workers. We are seeking assistance from the community to help us identify some suspects that we would like to speak with to further our investigations. We encourage everyone to visit the Crime Stoppers website, take a good look at the images and contact Crime Stoppers with any information that may assist our investigations.”
“Most retailers have theft prevention measures in place, comprehensive CCTV coverage and are aware of tactics employed by those people who choose to steal rather than do the right thing. SA Police has been working with retailers and will continue to use all means possible to identify those people who commit offences and hold them to account.”
For a basic offence in South Australia the maximum penalty for theft is 10 years imprisonment. For an aggravated offence (such as stealing from a child under 12 years or a person over 60 years) the maximum penalty is extended to 15 years imprisonment.
To see the list of target suspects and to learn more about the campaign, visit here.
If you have any information about unsolved crime or suspicious activity, then call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or go to https://crimestopperssa.com.au