Thieves called out for sneaky tactic at South Australian supermarkets

A family-run supermarket chain has criticised two thieves on social media for using large boxes disguised as gifts to smuggle groceries past the checkout.

John-Paul Drake, the director of Drakes Supermarkets, which operates stores in South Australia and Queensland, shared the CCTV footage along with some colourful comments on TikTok.

“Let’s put the gift on top of the groceries down there, no one will suspect anything,” he said as surveillance footage was shown showing a woman placing a large gift on top of the goods in another man’s shopping cart. A child was apparently with the man.

“Given the number of times this couple beat us, I’m sure they have a family of 50 at home.”

Another clip showed a woman pushing a shopping cart with another large wrapped box and balloons.

“Look at this, no one is going to notice a big present in a shopping cart with a bunch of balloons covering my face,” Mr. Drake said sarcastically. “Yeah, I’m pretty sure we’ll notice.”

Mr Drake told news.com.au the thieves had been spotted in the past month at five stores in the northern suburbs: Gawler, Gawler East, Salisbury North, Clovercrest and Golden Grove.

“Our team found it unusual for a huge gift and balloons to enter the store and noticed the violations when reviewing the CCTV,” he said.

He joked: “With my birthday coming up, I really thought they were going to bring me a gift. Imagine my disappointment when they made products disappear instead.”

Mr Drake said the recent increase in thefts did not appear to be due to people being desperate and unable to afford food due to the rising cost of living.

“We’re seeing an increase in theft of high-value items like prime cuts of meat and health and beauty products, and people are definitely becoming more brazen and creative in their methods,” he explained.

“These are not products stolen by people who cannot feed their families, but by people who sell or barter these products for personal gain.”

South Australia Police confirmed to news.com.au that they are investigating “a series of thefts” at a supermarket chain in the northern suburbs in May.

Police urged anyone with information to call Crimestoppers.

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