Nelson's not-for-profit shop Trade Aid stung by 'worst' case of shoplifting

Margaret Court manager of Trade Aid Nelson with items similar to ones stolen by a shop lifter from the Hardy St store.
MARTIN DE RUYTER

Margaret Court manager of Trade Aid Nelson with items similar to ones stolen by a shop lifter from the Hardy St store.

Summer shopping is also a busy time for thieves with one Nelson not-for-profit store being hard hit this week.

More than $120 worth of goods was stolen from Trade Aid in Hardy St on Wednesday in what shop manager Margaret Court said was the "worst" case she had seen.

She believed one shoplifter was responsible for the thefts on Wednesday morning, which included six wooden jewellery boxes, phone purses, small bags and other boxes.

"Little pretty things really."

She wanted to raise awareness of the issue, particularly during the busy summer season.

Court said she was in the process of making contact with police about the loss of merchandise and had asked staff to be "extra hyper-vigilant" to avoid further thefts.

"Every now and then you get a spate of things that are taken but this is the worst I've ever seen ... this has been a real target, you can just kind of tell."

Court said thefts from Trade Aid meant people were stealing off a not-for-profit organisation that supported disadvantaged producers from developing countries.

"We're trying to help our producers overseas so they're actually hurting us and hurting our ability to make money," Court said.

Just a few doors down from the Hardy St store, Hogeys owner John Hogey said shoplifting had always been an issue for Nelson stores.

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He said if a shop in town believed they hadn't fallen victim to shoplifting they were "living in denial".

Hogey thanked police for prosecuting three separate offenders who had stolen two $35 hats and a $200 bikini this summer.

"You ring and they come," he said. "They have been fantastic."

The busier times of the year brought opportunities for shoplifters to take advantage of busy staff, Hogey said.

It paid to have vigilant staff who questioned suspicious behaviour and contact police immediately.

The Bead Gallery owner Odette Frampton said the store had lost thousands of dollars worth of merchandise due to sticky fingers.

She said the store seemed to be a "high target" because of its small items and sale tables that sat out the front of the shop.

Staff had been trained to spot suspicious behaviour.

"We definitely have a lot [of shoplifters]. There's lots of things that go missing here." 

She said the store would not know the extent of this summer's shoplifting until they were quieter.

"We've been that busy, it's hard for us to tell."

Nelson Bays acting area commander Senior Sergeant Blair Hall said shoplifting was a priority for police and anyone who had been a victim should contact them immediately.

 - Stuff

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