By HIMMAT LODHIA, PRESIDENT, SUVA RETAILERS ASSOCIATION
There is a surge in organised shoplifting in the city. The shoplifters usually work in groups and distract sales staff by part of the gang and the criminal element goes to work and steals. As the shoplifter moves out of the shop the others who have distracted the attention of the sales people move away quickly too.
We have seen evidence of actually shoplifters and how the gang operates. These activities are vividly recorded on CCTV cameras.
The Police have seen the footage on several occasions and the criminal elements have not been booked or brought to justice. This inaction usually encourages the criminals and they continue their activities targeting several shops. A few shops that do not have cameras may not even realize the workings of these criminals who work in groups all over the city.
Lords Jewellers have recorded footage of three separate incidences together with clear mannerism in which these shoplifting occurs. With ready buyers from overseas, the items have an easy market.
The Association warns the shopkeepers to keep a lookout for these groups. If the shopkeepers have evidence, report the matter to the Police, even if it is just for record purpose.
RESPONSE FROM FIJI POLICE FORCE
We haven’t received reports to the level to state that there is a surge in organised shoplifting in Suva.
Our crime officers had attended to a case filed by Mr Lodhia and that was the lone case.
However if he is aware of other cases then please do work with us. The Commanding Officer for the Central Division will organize a meeting with him tomorrow.