HomeShoppingREVEALED: €100 of chicken rolls stolen weekly says Irish shop owner

REVEALED: €100 of chicken rolls stolen weekly says Irish shop owner

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One Irish shop owner is reporting that more than €100 worth of chicken fillet rolls are being stolen each week from his stores.

Shane Gleeson, owner of five Spar shops in Limerick, said theft and criminal damage offences have gotten ‘far worse’.

“People come in and get three or four items from the hot deli counter and one or two of them are hidden on their person. They often go up and actually pay for one or two of those items and steal the others,” Mr Gleeson said.

“It’s very hard to catch them and they’ve often had plenty of practice. We have put in a new system whereby any item sold at the deli is directly recorded to the tills – that way, you know exactly which items were robbed.”

While theft is the main “major issue”, Mr Gleeson says assaults of staff frequently occur too when the person stealing gets confronted. 

“Primarily, those stealing are people with addiction issues and aged between 20 and 30. They become very aggressive when we try and stop them – we have had numerous assaults.

“We have to be very careful who approaches them and who is capable of approaching them. Several people come in 8 or 9 times a day and are kicked out 8 or 9 times everyday – those people don’t try to hide their identities, they don’t care.”

While accounting for €100 worth of stolen hot chicken rolls each week, other items such as cigarettes are targeted by thieves.

In September 2023, a man smashed through the front door of Mr Gleeson’s Spar store in Castletroy and stole cigarettes and vape products worth around €7k.

A few weeks later, the same man again broke into the shop and took more cigarettes and vapes, estimated by gardaí to be worth around €1,600. He has since been jailed. 

“The system would describe them as petty criminals – it doesn’t feel petty to us,” Mr Gleeson concluded.

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