A Fremantle bottle shop owner has revealed his frustration at the brazen thefts plaguing his southern suburbs store.
The issue was thrust into the spotlight in recent days with staff at his Cellarbrations outlet using social media to share security vision of the alleged raids.
SEE THE VIDEO ABOVE: Fremantle bottle shop raided by brazen thieves.
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On more than one occasion, store owner Frank has put himself in harm’s way trying to stop thieves from snatching alcohol and simply walking out the door.
He said it was often “scary” and while police advice is to not get involved, he “can’t help himself”.
“It just makes me so angry they think they can get what they want and not pay for it,” he told 6PR.
“And not just in my store, just everywhere.
“I want to stop them. It just p***es me off.”
Security vision captured at his store reveals numerous recent theft attempts.
In one, a male with a shirt covering his head feigns reaching for his wallet before picking up a pack of drinks off the counter and making a run for the door.
In another clip, viewed more than 800,000 times, two men try to walk out with a pack of Jack Daniels UDLs each when Frank puts himself between them and the exit.
As he prepares to return them to the shelves one man simply goes back into the fridge while the other walks out with the drinks.
Cans end up on the floor and Frank is shoved, the security vision shows.
“Respect, but be careful, bro. I’m surprised they didn’t swing at you,” one person reacting to the video posted.
Another said: “This is why you need more than one worker at a time to assist with this.”
He said thieves had got so used to being unchallenged in stores that things were “getting out of hand”, even with their attempts to quell the situation.
His store has a wall of shame to help staff remember repeat offenders, drinks are being hidden and “display” tactics are being employed in some cases, where the goods have to be paid for first before they can be handled.
They are measures he said are needed, with the cops called on several occasions and the cost of a security guard proving a bit much.
“Only last week I got punched in the head,” Frank said.
“I can’t stop it. It makes me so angry, I can’t just sit and watch them do whatever they want.
“It’s a trade-off. If I do something about it there’s a risk in getting hurt but if I don’t do it I can’t sleep.”
WA Liquor Stores Association chief executive Peter Peck said stealing like what has occurred in Fremantle is occurring “nearly every day” and said the association is pushing for a meeting with the WA Police Minister to brainstorm a solution.
“It’s not the police. The police are doing everything they can with the resources they’ve got,” Peck said.
“It really comes down to justice. Police are doing their job, they’re finding them, they’re charging them.
“Then a magistrate will say ‘don’t do it again’. Until we sort our justice system out, it’s not going to change.”
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