Shoplifting in charity shops has dramatically increased in Cardiff

Reported theft in charity shops jumped in Wales by 36 percent compared to 32 percent in England.

Theft in charity shops has become such a large issue that the charities are having to take action. Shops are having to take items off the shop floor and upload them online, some shops have added locked display cases.

Amber Wendiberry from the RSPCA charity shop on Albany Road said that they have been taking measures to prevent this from happening.

“We will put out one shoe and keep the other shoe in the counter, anything expensive will be kept in the glass cabinets to try and stop people being able to pinch them and when it gets really bad we will literally tie items up”

She believes that there are not enough sanctions for those who do shoplift.

“There’s not a way to deter people. We spoke to a woman this morning who works in Peacocks. They stopped someone who had armfuls of stuff, her response was ‘you’re not security’ and she just took the stuff anyway.”

Darren Yorath has been running the Outreach Ministry charity shop on Station Terrace in Cardiff city centre for six months. He says he has noticed a large volume of shoplifting, but he is not prioritising the issue.

“Because everything is donated and people give it in good faith, we don’t want to have to lock everything down. If people are going to steal, they’re going to steal. We could try and prevent it but we don’t want to put all our time and resources into trying to stop theft when we’re providing a service and supporting people.”

Staff at both shops believe that although the cost of living is partially to blame, there have been growing trends of people shoplifting for fun.

“I’m just baffled by how openly people will talk about pinching stuff. I think some people like the thrill of it” Mrs Wendiberry said.

Mr Yorath said; “It’s not that we have high prices, I think the majority of it is bad habits. People get a buzz from stealing. We’ve had people swapping labels to get things cheaper to feel like they’ve had more of a bargain.”

As well as rising operational costs, this spike in theft is another problem that charity shops face and could be detrimental to their futures.