(SNO) – Enough is enough. The proprietors of Country Fresh Chicken, located on St. Louis Street in Castries, are fed up of losing thousands of dollars every month for the past six years due to shoplifting.
In the latest incident, a woman was caught on camera Thursday (June 21, 2018), just before noon, stealing a packet of lentils, which costs $2.95, and seasoning cubes that costs 45 cents each, according to a representative of the business, who requested to remain anonymous for personal security reasons.
The woman went to the cashier and paid for a can of milk valued at $1.25 but did not pay for the lentils and cubes, which she had earlier placed in her bag, according to the business rep.
“That’s what most of the thieves in town do, they steal stuff then try to throw off the cashier by paying for something. I caught one once who stole a whole box of foil and paid for one roll,” the representative said. “She did not pay for the lentils or the cubes. She paid for a small can of milk. And she’s a regular customer at the shop. Most mornings she comes in so we’re not sure if she has been getting away with it.”
These incidents happen “very often” — like every three or four days, the representative said.
“Most times they wait for busy periods when it’s harder to spot them. Weekends are the worst. On weekends, most times they come in groups, start an argument, and while everyone watching, a couple of the others steal.”
Many will say lentils and a few cubes of spice costs nothing. However, the representative said these ‘small’ thefts add up to “thousands” of dollars in losses to the business.
And the thieves are becoming more brazen and skilled at their craft.
“We caught a guy about two weeks ago who comes in daily to purchase forks, only to find out for every two packets he pays, he pushes another two down his pants.”
Reporting the matter to the police does not really yield much results, the rep. said.
“We did report one of the incidents to them (police) but didn’t get any results.”
The business rep. noted that the thieves are “looking out for each other”.
“My other representative had a long cooking fork pulled on him once after we caught a guy stealing a whole block of cheese which costs $120.”
So do you have security guards?
“We don’t have guards, just people watching out for us. Like the fork thief, it was actually one of the neighbouring store owners that helped us catch him.”
The proprietors hope that by posting this video, it will deter people from shoplifting. They have also installed additional cameras.
“Business owners are losing way too much on a monthly basis because of people like her,” the rep. pointed out.
Country Fresh Chicken has been in operation for about six years now. The business started off as a meat shop then expanded into selling dry goods, cheese, drinks, and other items.