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The number of thefts has doubled

According to Viking Security, which watches over grocery shops across Estonia, twice as many goods were attempted to be stolen over the New Year period than the year before, and the total price of goods stolen in January hit new records.


According to Andrei Teivas, security officer at Viking Security, which looks after more than 100 of the Selver, Coop and Maxima grocery shops, the number of attempted thefts always increases in the second half of December, but this time the large-scale activity of thieves has continued also in the new year.

‘Alongside petty theft we see attempts to take goods worth more than €200 in total, including rather ordinary products such as sweets or coffee. It seems that the aim is to sell the goods,’ the expert analysed.

People mostly try to steal expensive alcohol and electronics, but also cosmetics, sweets, cheese, and coffee.

According to Teivas, the economically difficult time has presented itself in the form of shoplifting since early autumn. ‘

The number of attempted thefts has increased. There are more attempts to steal large quantities at a time and the amount of violent incidents has multiplied. During the weeks approaching New Year’s Eve, the number of attempted thefts was nearly 20% higher than at the same time last year, involving essentially twice the total price of goods. In January, the total price of goods attempted to be stolen at one time has risen to around €550, which is unprecedented,’ said the security officer.

Among the weirdest recent incidents, Teivas mentioned several attempts to steal large quantities of cheese from the same shop in Tallinn, or one man’s attempt to steal cosmetics worth nearly €300. ‘One thief’s stubbornness to get some booze comes to mind. The person tried to steal two bottles of cognac, but was spotted by the shop assistant and chased out of the shop.

But only 12 minutes later, the same person tried to steal two bottles of the same cognac from the same shop again and was detained by the security guard,’ said the security officer from Viking Security.

Postimees | 28 January 2023

Photo: Urmas Luik