Alcohol tops ‘Most Stolen’ chart

Light-fingered customers are costing Britain's retailers £800 million per year.

That’s the view of a national security company which compiled a Top 10 list of the most stolen items from over 100 UK supermarkets and stores, with alcohol, perfume and razor blades coming out on top.

According to Yorkshire-based Monitored Alarms the most stolen item is alcohol followed by others which are easily concealed to get past the till and security guards.

Shopping bags have also made a dramatic appearance in the top 10 following the introduction of the 5p charge on single-use bags by most shops in the UK.

“But it’s not just the customers who’re robbing the shops blind,” says Monitored Alarms’ Spokesperson Jonathan Ratcliffe, “Staff are responsible of another £770m worth of thefts, making them almost as bad as the crooks they’re supposed to be stopping.”

The company spoke to over 100 British shops and stores, from major chains down to humble family-run convenience stores and found that the top 10 items stolen were:


  • Alcohol
  • Perfume
  • Razor blades
  • Bags – both plastic and reusable
  • Coffee
  • Meat and cheeses
  • Electrical goods
  • Phones
  • Clothing
  • Sporting goods


Alcohol theft has plagued supermarkets for years with many stores increasing their security for high-value products such as whiskies and other spirits. But it still appears difficult to stop every incident and losses caused by customers and staff still top the list.

“You’ll notice that the most-stolen items are those that are easily concealed,” said Jonathan Ratcliffe, “And that’s a major problem for smaller stores because not everything can be covered with security tags without making a nonsense of the whole shopping experience.

“It’s impossible to watch every customer and experience tells us it’s not always the ‘dodgy-looking’ ones that are the worst offenders.”




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