Police will be targeting shop stealing as businesses reopen in the wake of COVID-19 restrictions being eased.
Figures for Southern District over the past 12 months have shown the most popular items stolen from shops and businesses include perfume, makeup, alcohol and meat.
Detective Inspector Rebecca Davis said that some of these items result in being advertised on local buy and sell pages like Facebook and Gumtree.
“We’re asking members of the public to be mindful of items being sold on local buy and sell pages like Facebook and Gum Tree,” she said.
“If it seems too good to be true, it usually is. Ask the buyer questions including proof of purchase before buying any products online. Otherwise there’s a risk you could be personally liable for receiving stolen goods.
“If you don’t buy goods suspected of being stolen, it reduces the offender’s capacity to offload it -they’re are less likely to steal if they can’t get rid of it.”
Detective Inspector Davis said that police were already undertaking proactive patrols in CBDs and shopping centres.
“However, we can’t reduce volume crime on our own. By working together, we can all help businesses recover by limiting losses through theft which in turn will help keep prices affordable,” she said.
“We’re asking shop owners to take steps to target harden their businesses to make it harder for thieves to steal.”
If you see someone actively shop stealing, call police on 131444 or report anonymously to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or crimestopperstas.com.au