By Patrick Avenell

New South Police have arrested 31 people on retail theft charges, with a further 25 cautioned, during a 5-day operation at a leading Sydney shopping centre.

The sting, labeled Operation Lightfingers 2, targeted shoplifters and property thieves at a series of stores at Bondi Junction. Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi, Bing Lee, Dick Smith Electronics and a number of independents all operate in this area.

“Among those apprehended were a 50-year-old woman from Queens Park, charged with shoplifting and possession of a knife; and a 52-year-old woman from Balmain, accused of stealing goods, valued at more than $2,000,” said a NSW Police spokesperson.
“Both were previously banned from a variety of local stores.
“Police also recovered $13,000 in stolen goods during the blitz.”

Region Enforcement Squad Commander Damian Beaufils was full of praise for the retail outlets, thanking them for working so closely with authorities.

“It’s always pleasing to see police and commercial businesses working hand-in-hand to stop shoplifters in their tracks,” he said.

Beaufils also issued a warning to any other Dickensian types, looking to make the most of the Christmas shopping season.

“Thieves seeking to capitalise on the Christmas-New Year shopping season are under more scrutiny than ever, with both uniformed and undercover police patrolling stores across the state,” Inspector Beaufils said.

“The department stores are also doing their bit with skilled security staff and improved surveillance technology,” he said.

“Credit card fraud also has an impact on retailers, particularly at this time of year, and as such, we  utilise the expertise of the Fraud Squad during these operations.

“Thieves need to understand, we’ll continue to run these types of crackdowns anywhere, anytime.”

Do you have a story about crime in your store? Send me an email.