Safe Retail | NRA

The following trends in retail crime have been witnessed by Brisbane retailers over the past few weeks, as relayed across the NRA 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

  • Fragrances
  • Make-up
  • Hair Products
  • Skin Care Products
  • Display Ceramics (small)
  • Male fishing clothes and Apparel
  • Fishing wheels
  • Spirits (Alcohol)
  • Pre-mix cans (Alcohol)
  • Transformers Robots
  • Sunglasses
  • Sports branded clothing
  • Drinks (Non-alcoholic)
  • Confectionery Items
  • Chocolate
  • Security and Surveillance products
  • Shoes
  • Pet Collars
  • Pet Leads
  • Bed linen

Criminal Behaviour

Armed Robbery:

  • Two males entered a store with weapons, jumped the counter and threatened two female staff members. The offenders took all of the cash in the store but were later caught and imprisoned. The incident had a significant impact on the 16-year-old staff member.
  • Reports of a pawn broker being robbed by a male. The male entered the store with a crowbar and started damaging property while demanding money.


  • An adventure store reported an individual triggering the security alarm when exiting the store. The male showed staff what he was stealing and left.
  • Reports of a male proceeding to a liquor store counter with two one-litre bottles of rum on a Friday night. The man asked the retail assistant for a packet of cigarettes and as she turned around, the man left with one of the bottles.
  • Reports of an individual brazenly stealing a $300 dog bed. The individual came into the store picked the item up and walked out.
  • Reports of a man carrying clothing items around a camping store. The man inspected and entered a display tent and emerged without the clothing. Staff later found coat hangers in the tent.
  • A retail assistant reported finding magnets in the back corner of a fashion store. Staff believe the magnets were used to de-tag items.
  • A convenience store reported a male youth entering the premises, picking up a cold drink and proceeding towards the exit. When staff asked if he was going to pay for the item, the individual said “yeah, later” and rode away on his pushbike.
  • Reports of a female stealing two bed sets and duvets. A staff member asked her if she was going to pay for the items to which the individual responded “no” and walked away.

Attempted Theft:

  • A retailer reported a female entering a store and acting suspicious. Staff remained vigilant as the layout of the store and high clothing racks creates many blind spots. Staff later found a duffel bag of clothes, valued at over $300.
  • Reports of an individual moving items on display out the front of a store to hide them from view of the counter and entered the store. A staff member investigated and moved the items back onto display and remained outside until the individual exited the store. The individual appeared agitated and scared.
  • Reports of a male discretely making a pile of items in the corner of a store. A staff member asked if he would like assistance to the checkout, to which the individual declined. The staff member asked if he was going to put the items back and the male said “yes” and left the store.

Group Offending:

  • Reports of a male distracting staff at the counter as a female shoplifted items in her large bag. The woman later made a purchase whilst the male slipped a charity donation tin into the bag. Staff later checked the security tape to find the donation tin and discovered they were accomplices. They had sufficient evidence to prosecute.
  • Reports of a male and female entering a store and browsing the spirits. The couple waited for staff to be busy serving another customer. The female then took off her jumper and wrapped a bottle of vodka inside.

Snatch and Run: 

  • A liquor store frequently experiences minors stealing alcohol. The minors wait for staff members to be busy, run into the store, grab something and leave.

Dumpster Diving:

  • Reports of individuals rummaging through the bins of an automotive store. The individuals are searching for discarded items of potential value. Recently, the individuals spread the rubbish across the car park and urinated on it.

Aggressive and Anti-Social Behaviour

  • A post office staff member had an encounter with a female demanding staff to locate a parcel sent through a different carrier. Unable to do so, the woman sent for her boyfriend who then threatened and acted aggressively towards staff. The police were called to diffuse the situation.
  • A male entered a store and became very aggressive towards staff and made a bomb threat. The staff believe the man was under the influence of performance enhancers. The police were called.
  • A pawnbroker experiences a lot of aggression from customers whom are not satisfied with their loans.
  • A local pharmacy had an individual overdose in their car park.
  • A convenience store reported having two men physically fighting on their premises.
  • A shopping complex have had their toilets set on fire.
  • Some staff members report receiving more abuse over the phone than in person.

General Feedback

  • A lot of staff believe abuse is an expected part of retail.
  • Small items that are easy to hide are primary targets for theft.
  • Staff are fed up with customers asking for discounts.
  • A toy shop experiences more theft over the school holidays.


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.