Two men and a woman are thought to have stolen multiple bottles of perfume from a Cambridge store over a two-week period.
CCTV images of the suspects have been released by Cambridgeshire Police after the thefts from the Perfume Shop in the Grafton Centre, Cambridge.
The Perfume Shop is the UK’s largest specialist fragrance retailer with 215 stores across the UK & Ireland, selling all major designer fragrance brands, classic and celebrity perfumes, aftershaves, and body products with unrivalled expertise at value for money prices
A police spokesperson said: “Multiple bottles of perfume were taken from display in the Perfume Shop in the Grafton Centre on various occasions dating back to 29 September, with the most recent incident occurring on 11 October.”
Anyone with information or who recognises any of the people pictured should visit www.cambs.police.uk/report and quote 35/72106/23. Alternatively, call 101.
Cambridgeshire Police has a six-point guide for shop keepers to deter shoplifters:
- Meet and greet
Shoplifters can always assess how easy it is to steal from a shop by how soon after they enter, they are spoken to by a member of staff. It’s known as ‘the three-to-five second rule’.
Greeting customers as they enter your premises can put off shoplifters because it sends out a message that you and your staff are paying attention. If a thief thinks they’ve been spotted they’re more likely to leave.
- Crime mapping
Work out where inside the store thefts are happening. Keep records of location, dates, times and CCTV of incidents or suspicious behaviour. This is called ‘crime mapping’.
Take a look at this area as if you are seeing it for the first time, then work out what you can do to protect it. Can you improve the surveillance? For example, can you see it from the till? Try making the area more visible by repositioning or lowering stock and shelving. Consider placing more staff here or even displaying the items elsewhere.
- Electronic tagging
Tag your items with ‘Electronic Article Surveillance’. Anti-theft systems encompass a wide range of devices and technologies.
A correctly installed and security accredited anti-theft terminal (and tagging system) at a store entrance is a statement to potential shoplifters that ‘this store is protected’. Thieves will often target premises that don’t have this equipment. Most shops see a marked drop in shoplifting once they install an anti-theft terminal on the door. They’ll simply go elsewhere.
- Keep it tidy
A clean and tidy retail outlet with clear visibility across the shop floor tells a thief that everything is shipshape – and that surveillance is also probably first class. Keep things security friendly, with uncluttered, wide aisles where possible, thereby making it extremely difficult for them to steal unnoticed. Ensure that the exterior, the grounds, and the building itself are also well maintained and clean, to keep the space as visible as possible.
- Personal safety
You can’t predict who’s coming into your shop or how they will behave. Shoplifters could respond aggressively when challenged.
Employers should conduct a risk assessment in conjunction with Health and Safety directions. Always trust your instincts and only engage a potential shoplifter if it is safe to do so. If you feel confident with the situation, keep a safe distance, and then ask them if they need any help or if they require a basket or a bag. If you’re feeling uncomfortable, be polite, step away and quietly alert your manager or security team.
- Safety in numbers
For as much of the day as possible, try not to be alone. Thieves target stores where there is only one member of staff. More eyes in the store, means you’re more likely to spot a thief, so have a few members of staff and make sure they’re trained in how to spot shoplifters. For more guidance, see how to spot a shoplifter.
Police are keen to speak to these suspected shoplifters: anyone with information or who recognises any of the people pictured should visit www.cambs.police.uk/report and quote 35/72106/23. Alternatively, call 101.
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