Meat thefts from supermarkets skyrocketing

MEAT stealing is soaring as supermarkets battle a surge in shoplifting, with the number of retail theft incidents in Canterbury Bankstown rising from 473 the previous year to 586 in the year to September 2023.

Meat theft increased in Australia by 85 per cent between 2022 and 2023, according to data from retail crime intelligence platform Auror, which works with companies such as Coles, Bunnings and Woolworths.
Pork experienced the largest rise, with thefts increasing by 35 per cent, followed by lamb at 31 per cent and beef at 15 per cent.
Australian Retail Association (ARA) director Paul Zahra said nearly half of retailers reported a rise in organised crime in the association’s latest membership survey.
ARA defines organised crime as involving two or more people who conspire to steal retail merchandise, intending to resell the items for profit and not just feed their families.
He said supermarkets knew what these people were doing and it was only a matter of time before they got caught.
IGA Panania Assistant Manager Jane Brennan agrees, saying they had noticed an increase in shoplifting but were right across it.
She said the most common cases were people changing the labelling so they could buy an item for much cheaper but her cashiers were always on the lookout. “We’re quite lucky here because our whole store is under video surveillance and for those thinking about doing a ‘runner’, they’d find it difficult because they’d have to jump the gate first,” she said.
“But we’ve certainly had a few who’ve tried.”
After ARA research also revealed one in seven shoppers admitting to not scanning every item at a self-serve, Jane said it was also a relief there store only had cashiers.
“I personally believe the stores that operate on a self-serve system, are just asking for trouble,” she said.