The door at Beanfreaks Albany Road. Credit: Lowri Lewis
The door at Beanfreaks Albany Road. Credit: Lowri Lewis

A shop on Albany Road is letting people in one at a time as shoplifting on the street gets worse

Shop workers have been spat at and slapped by shoplifters as crime numbers almost double in two years across South Wales

SOME shops on Albany Road are closing their doors in the daytime as an alarming surge in shoplifting in South Wales has hit the street hard.

“Sometimes we’ll have the door locked nearly all day. We’re shattered by the end of it because we’re running back and forth opening the door,” said Ceri, assistant manager at the Beanfreaks health food store on Albany Road. 

Clothing store Peacocks also closed its doors this week after an angry would-be shoplifter smashed the door, according to supervisor Liz Richards. Normally the doors are kept open for customers.

Ceri, who did not want to give her full name, said businesses on the street have started a WhatsApp group to warn each other when shoplifters are in the area.

Her husband has also started taking her to and from work because of fears for her safety. “He brings me and waits until I lock the door because we’ve seen so much go on even that time in the morning,” she said. 

Beanfreaks have had to take steps to protect their valuable stock.

Staff have replaced the protein powder in their shop with dummy versions and withdrawn manuka honey from the shelves because of shoplifting, according to the assistant manager.

The dummy protein powder bags in Beanfreaks, Albany Road. Credit: Lowri Lewis

“We’re constantly feeling nervous and anxious and even when we go on lunch, we’re watching the cameras,” she said. 

Beanfreaks loses sales because staff cannot always reach the door quickly enough to let genuine customers in when it is locked.

Team leaders at Home Bargains and Superdrug on Albany Road said they felt shoplifting had got worse over the past few years. 

The number of shoplifting offences in South Wales has almost doubled over the past two years, according to ONS figures.

South Wales Police have been approached for a comment. 

“Lately especially, so many people have got so violent – it becomes a safety concern then,” said Nathan Webber, team leader at Home Bargains. 

The team leader at Superdrug, who wanted to remain anonymous, said that staff in the shop had been spat on, shouted at and had things thrown at them in their interactions with shoplifters. 

Matthew Swift, a manager at Sainsbury’s, has also faced abuse from shoplifters – he said that one slapped him in the face just last week. 

Sainsbury’s on Albany Road. Credit: Lowri Lewis

He said: “It’s hell. I feel like I can’t leave the shop floor half the time because you never know when someone’s going to come in and steal things.”

When a security guard is not present and he receives a message from the WhatsApp group that there is a shoplifter in the area, he puts on a hi-vis jacket and stands at the entrance of the store to give the impression that they have a security guard.

  • South Wales Police can be contacted by calling 101 or emailing Or contact officers via the live chat or contact form on the force website.