Shop staff stopping crime
It has been reported from our three charity shops in Raynes Park, Fulham and Tooting that the highest proportion of crime in the shops is shoplifting or attempted shoplifting which had been stopped by staff intervention. There have also been reports of other crimes that you may not have thought would be carried out in a charity shop. For example there have been reports of violence, pickpocketing, verbal abuse, banking fraud, impersonating charity bosses and distraction crimes.
It is horrible to see that people are committing crimes in charity shops, not only against the charity but also those trying to support the charity. The shop is here to make a difference in people’s lives and people are ruining it for everyone.
Linda – Little Lives UK shop volunteer
Reports from our manager of the Little Lives UK Fulham branch Monica, say that on no less than three times in the last couple of months have the police had to be called because of people stealing clothes, accessories and shoes from the shop. Shockingly, no less than 10 times a month do staff members of the shop have to intervene when they see individuals on the store’s CCTV attempting to steal goods.
Fraud, theft, violence and new ways to steal
Our Fulham branch has also experienced individuals twice impersonating Little Lives UK’s director and founder to attempt to collect the week’s cash for banking. Another individual is reported to have attempted to take a cash box on one occasion and then returning the next day to succeed in ripping a chained down cash box from the till and making off with it. Another individual has also attempted to prise open the till to steal the cash inside, someone has used a stolen debit card to purchase goods by bypassing the chip and PIN machine with an illegal card and people have attempted to pick pocket customers in the shop.
Our Tooting and Raynes Park shops have also reported that a number of times individuals or people working in groups of two come into the shop and steal items such as clothing, accessories and even a large TV.
As reported by our Raynes Park shop manager Aneta, on two occasions we have had to provide CCTV evidence to the Met Police regarding pick pocketing. On one occasion, the CCTV caught someone stealing a man’s wallet and running from the shop and the second time saw two individuals target a lady, one distracting her and the second taking her purse.
Each time those who are successfully committing crimes in the three shops have been reported to be between the ages 40 and 70 years old with younger people attempting to commit the crimes not being able to. Some of the individuals are also known to other charity shops in the areas and have faced similar problems.
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