Safe Retail | NRA

The following trends in retail crime have been witnessed by Brisbane retailers over the past few weeks, as relayed across the National Retail Association SafeCity Network.

Thank you to all of the retailers reporting these crimes and trends.
The more we all report, the more we all know.

Products being targeted

  • Guess Handbags
  • Gaming accessories
  • Earrings
  • Male T-shirts
  • Socks
  • Magazines
  • Sunglasses
  • Skin Care products
  • Beauty products
  • Fragrances
  • Soft Drink
  • Spirits
  • Cigarettes
  • Low-value electronics
  • Cleaning Products

Criminal Behaviour

Group Offending:

  • A group of youths loitering at the front of a store waited until the assistant was serving another customer, then snatched and grabbed seven designer handbags in one hit. Similarly, two females have targeted the store. Whilst one distracted the staff member, the other stole two designer handbags, valued at over $500.
  • Four individuals have targeted a newsagent. Two individuals distracted the assistant whilst the other two ducked behind the counter and stole over $900 in tobacco products.


  • Reports of brazen shoplifting are increasing. A beauty store reported an individual picking up multiple fragrances and walking out. A fruit shop reported a middle-aged woman stealing a $60 bouquet of flowers and an elderly lady shoplifting fresh produce as she exited the store after making a purchase. A bakery reported individuals repeatedly stealing goods from the front display.
  • A staff member reported an incident where a female filled two shopping baskets with food and went outside to examine the fresh produce at the front. A car pulled up and the individual got in without purchasing the items.
  • A staff member witnessed a young female put a pair of earring in her pocket and exiting the store. Shortly after, another young female entered and did the exact same thing.

Suspected Casing:

  • A group of males have repeatedly entered a store over the course of a week. One man appeared to be making a phone call but the retail assistant suspects that the individual was recording a video because of the way he moved his head and circled the store.

Counterfeit Notes:

  • Staff are being vigilant this Christmas after the centre was hit by a series of counterfeit $50 notes last year.

Aggressive and Anti-Social Behaviour

Physical Assault:

  • An owner of a newsagency was physically assaulted after confronting an individual suspected of shoplifting.
  • A female staff member was punched in the face after confronting another female about stealing a bag full of products.

Anti-Social Behaviour:

  • A retail assistant has noticed many individuals, which appear to be under the influence of drugs, loitering in the carpark of a shopping centre. Retailers in the centre have commented that it is impacting their ability to trade.
  • A newsagency had a group of teenagers loitering in the store. The individuals began to throw magazines in the store, rendering the magazines unsellable. When staff informed the individuals they had called the police, they stood out the front and verbally abused the staff using profane language.
  • Teenagers have been loitering in the car park of a shopping precinct and causing damaging parked cars.
  • Several staff members have witnessed drug transactions occurring outside stores, carparks and centre bathrooms.

General Feedback

  • Some retailers report feeling frustrated with police response time when dealing with urgent matters of theft.
  • Several retailers question the value of reporting retail crime and cite poor interactions with Policelink.
  • Retailers have noted an increase in aggression in the lead up to Christmas.
  • Retail assistants are becoming more aware of the importance of not stereotyping offenders of retail crime.
  • Jewellery retailers are concerned about the current ram raids happening in south Brisbane.


About the SafeCity Network

The National Retail Association’s SafeCity Network brings together retailers, government and law enforcement to better inform and equip retailers to reduce retail crime.

On 1 March 2018, the NRA launched the SafeCity Network as a trial in Brisbane aimed at increasing collaboration and insight between retailers to reduce retail crime. By reducing crime over the long term, the program aims to attract more shoppers and visitors, and ultimately create a more vibrant, safer retail precincts.

Participants in the SafeCity Network gain access to regular crime alerts and bulletins based on real-world intelligence shared by other retailers.