Meat theft a problem for CBD supermarket and not all thieves are caught

THEFT: While meat theft is on the rise, many of the thieves are not caught, according to Bernardi's Marketplace Supa IGA store manager Geoff Bottom. Photo: BRADLEY JURD
THEFT: While meat theft is on the rise, many of the thieves are not caught, according to Bernardi's Marketplace Supa IGA store manager Geoff Bottom. Photo: BRADLEY JURD

UP to six cases of stolen meat a week are recorded at a Bathurst CBD supermarket, forcing staff to remain ever-vigilant.

While meat theft has been a rising trend across Australia in recent times, many thieves get away with their crime. 

Bernardi’s Marketplace Supa IGA store manager Geoff Bottom said his store has up to half a dozen cases a week where staff find empty meat trays under shelves. 

“What people do is they’ll take the meat out of the package and put it in another bag, with vegetables or fruit, and hide it,” he said.

“They’ll get the empty packet and put it under a shelf.

“The premium cuts of meats are the usual ones that are stolen.

“We had an incident a few months back where someone brought in a pram, pretending they had a baby in it, and tried to get away with almost $400 worth of meat. These kind of people come in groups.”

Mr Bottom said staff had to remain vigilant and be prepared to be suspicious because the temptation to steal was always there.

Bernardi’s has only one exit door for customers and all bags are searched beforehand at the supermarket checkout.  

And Bernardi’s is not the only store in Bathurst with theft problems. 

A Woolworths spokesman said the appropriate measures are in place to help prevent theft at its stores. 

“Although we find the vast majority of our customers do the right thing when visiting our stores, we have a range of security measures in place for those that don’t,” he said. 

Certain Coles stores across Australia have security protection on their meats.  

Mr Bottom believes people resort to stealing food because the “consumer finds it tough”. 

A man was charged in June 2017 with stealing a large quantity of meat at Woolworths.

Staff caught a man filling his backpack with meat.

After throwing a roll of silverside at a witness who tried to stop him leaving the scene of the crime, he was later arrested by police and charged with stealing a large quantity of meat. 

The rate of theft from retail stores across the city has increased in the past five years. 

There were 121 cases recorded in the 12 months to March 2013 and 179 in the 12 months to March 2014 – a jump of 48 per cent.