The no-pay takeaway in North Perth

Wembley Police officer in charge Jade Smith said thieves were targeting the Liquorland outlet in Fitzgerald Street because they knew attendants would not confront them.

He estimated about $10,000-$15,000 of stock had been taken by thieves who simply walked out of the store without paying.

Mt Hawthorn resident Gary McGay was in the store on Sunday, March 10 when he saw three offenders leave with shopping bags filled with unpaid stock.

‘The three of them simply sauntered out the door past me and another customer at the cash register and disappeared into the shopping centre without saying a word,’ Mr McGay said. ‘The other customer and I just looked at each other gobsmacked.

‘The shop assistant confirmed that the store had just been robbed and that he was powerless to do anything about it.’

Sgt Smith said police had charged a number of people in relation to the thefts but the message had spread among offenders.

‘What we would like to see is Coles take a pro-active step to improve security to stop the trend,’ he said.

A Coles spokesman said he could not comment on specific incidents from Liquorland outlets but confirmed the recent theft at the North Perth store was the subject of a police investigation.

He said the company’s policy was to put the safety of employees first. He did not detail what protocols were in place to stop theft.

‘In terms of store security protocols, we work closely with the police on such matters and we have a range of in-store security measures to prevent shop theft,’ he said.

‘However, our first priority in all security matters is protecting the health and safety of our team members.’

– Editorial, page 8