Shoplifting is on the rise. Sophisticated criminal gangs, opportunist loners, petty pilferers and hardened pros have pushed crime figures up to a ten-year high. In 2012-13, there were nearly 650,000 recorded incidents of shoplifting and that’s without the ones that went unreported or under the radar.
Master thief Richard Taylor has turned his life around and now wants to reverse the trend in shoplifting by advising retailers on how to beat the thieves at their own game. He and serving copper Will Davies are travelling around the country, demonstrating some of the scams that thieves use to grab the goods and some of the gaping holes in store security. The results are gobsmacking!
This week, Richard hits a hardware store in Birmingham. The family-run store has been selling nuts and bolts for 40 years, but it is attracting more than DIY enthusiasts – it’s a free-for-all for thieves, who are getting away with £10,000 worth of gear every year.
To expose the gaping holes in the store’s security, Richard strikes and manages to load a van of goods within minutes. But he is in for a shock when the staff let rip and throw him out of town. With staff refusing to see him, it is down to his partner-in-shop-crime Will Davies to try to make amends and sort out their failing security.
In Cleethorpes, a value store is just not cheap enough for the local shoplifters, who are helping themselves to thousands of pounds worth of life’s little essentials. The all-women team’s secret weapon is Bertha the baseball bat, but when Richard fills a pair of specially adapted trousers with a mountain of gear, the staff are astounded.
Although the owner has spent a small fortune on CCTV, no one is watching the screens until the thieves have cleared them out and made their getaway. So after Richard gives staff a master class in CCTV surveillance, he tests them one final time with one of his boldest moves yet.