By Claire Reilly
Police have conducted a major crackdown on shoplifting in Sydney’s major retail centres, arresting 72 people over the space of 5 days last week. Operation Lightfingers was carried out in major outlets – including Bondi Junction, Broadway and the Sydney CBD – by police from the Redfern Region Enforcement Squad, and was specifically targeted at property theft and fraud in these areas.
The operation took place between Tuesday 5 and Saturday 9 June and was assisted by police from City Central, The Rocks and Leichhardt Local Area Commands, who worked with loss prevention staff from various retail stores, according to NSW Police.
NSW Police also recovered $18,500 in stolen goods through Operation Lightfingers, and a total of 92 charges were laid.
Redfern Region Enforcement Squad Acting Commander, Detective Acting Inspector Matt Francis said the success of the operation resulted from the joint cooperation of the police and retail stores.
“NSW Police worked together with local retail outlets during this operation and achieved great results in detecting 92 suspected offences,” said Redfern Region Enforcement Squad Acting Commander, Detective Acting Inspector Matt Francis.
“Prospective shoplifters should be aware that police and loss prevention staff are dedicated to stamping out thefts and this behaviour won’t be tolerated.
“There are a number of ways we can detect shoplifters including working with skilled security staff in stores and improved surveillance technology,” added Inspector Francis. “Retail theft is generally an opportunistic crime with those people caught predominately concealing smaller items of clothing and luxury goods.
“Police would encourage people to have a good think about what they are about to do before attempting to steal, as their actions can result in them having a criminal record for the rest of their life.
“We will continue to run operations like this in the future and work with retails stores to stop thefts, as well as other offences committed by individuals in stores. This operation should act as a deterrent for anyone thinking of shoplifting in the future, and re-enforce the message that both police and retailers will actively pursue them,” Inspector Francis said.