Shoplifter’s bizarre stealing spree
People are losing it over a 49-year-old man's bizarre stealing spree at a Bondi supermarket.
Police arrested more than 110 people and recovered $5300 worth of stolen goods over a three-day initiative known as Operation Lightfingers, beginning on December 4.
Five people were charged, 27 were issued court attendance notices and 66 were issued fined.
A 49-year-old man arrested at a Bondi shopping centre on December 6 was among those arrested.
The shoplifter had stolen $650 worth of pharmaceutical goods from a supermarket.
NSW Police posted a photo of the recovered goods to Facebook, and people are finding it hilarious.
The picture shows a bizarre mix of stolen products, including condoms, nappies and Weet-Bix bites.
"All those condoms and still need nappies? I know what brands to avoid now," one user said.
"You should of (sic) let them have the condoms. I think the community wouldn't want these guys to reproduce!" another commented.
Another added: "This bloke did the old 'oh that reminds me, we're out of cereal'."
Redfern Region Enforcement Squad Commander Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Bell said an increase in customers over the festive season generally created opportunities for shoplifters.
"This busy period can often be seen as an opportunistic time for potential shoplifters while staff members are attending to customers," Insp Bell said.
"We co-ordinate Operation Lightfingers not only at Christmas but throughout the year, which allows police and retail staff to work together to target possible thieves and send a clear message to anyone who thinks they can steal goods without paying for it."
Police have warned they will continue to target shoplifters over the busy Christmas retail period.
OTHER BIZARRE THIEVES
Anthony Hopkins has worked in retail for more than 15 years and seen his fair share of shoplifting.
"People steal useless sh*t just because they can," Mr Hopkins told news.com.au.
There isn't much he hasn't seen but one story stands out as the "weirdest" ever.
"A customer went to the bait freezer and started stuffing bait down his pants," he said, recalling his stint at a service station. "The stuff stank!"
He watched the customer in stunned silence for a few moments.
Then he asked: "Are you going to pay for that?"
"No," the customer replied and left the store.
"It was so weird," Mr Hopkins said. "Because he paid for a drink and a $50 pack of cigarettes.
"But not the bait."
Mr Hopkins then called the cops.
Mr Hopkins remembers chasing another shoplifter through a carpark and jumping down the parking ramps in James Bond-esque style.
The boy, who Mr Hopkins put at around 16 years old, had stolen a T-shirt.
Somehow he cornered the kid.
"Then all of a sudden he pulled a knife on me," Mr Hopkins said.
"It was nuts, actually nuts.
"He was going to stab someone over a $30 T-shirt? He was going to risk jail over it?"
Although Mr Hopkins escaped unscathed, it has made him more wary of shoplifters.
According to the National Retailers Association, shoplifting, robbery and vandalism costs Australian businesses up to $9 billion every year.
Have you got a funny tale of shoplifting? Contact Alex Turner-Cohen on firstname.lastname@example.org