Independent toy shop, Kids Stuff in Wells has highlighted the importance for toy stores to invest in security measures having been struck by shoplifters twice in one week.
The toy shop, part of the Toymaster buying group, has fallen victim to the two acts of theft over the past seven days, the first of which saw a local - known and wanted by the police - make away with £400 worth of LEGO.
A statement from Kids Stuff’s store owner read that the first shoplifter entered the store on Monday 13th to make off with a LEGO Harry Potter Whomping Willow set. He later reappeared to take a LEGO Wizarding World Newt’s Case and a LEGO Technic 6x6 Truck.
Caught on the store’s CCTV footage, the individual can be seen “walking through the shop until he gets to the doorway by the till, where he then bolts off like a jack rabbit,” ToyNews was told.
The incident has been reported to the police with a warrant issued for his arrest following links to three other accounts of shoplifting in the local area.
Kids Stuff is doubtful it will recover the LEGO stock stolen early last week, while the “insurance excess is more than the stock stolen,” which would put the shop’s policy up next year.
A second count of attempted shoplifting occurred just five days later, this time involving a young family who tried to get away with a Paddington Bear keyring.
“The couple came in around 1.40pm to chat with us happily, before stealing a Paddington Keyring in full view of our cameras. The couple then left the shop without paying.”
They were later confronted about the theft at which point - and upon being confronted with proof via the CCTV footage - returned the item to the store owner.
“In these scenarios, people may say, ‘it costs so little, what does it matter?’ It matters to us as an independent family toyshop. Any theft, regardless of price hurts us and the independent community and will not be tolerated.”
The store owner has highlighted to importance of investing in security measures for independent toy shops across the UK.
“If you haven’t got CCTV then get it,” they said. “It’s not expensive, about £400 will get you an eight camera system. Don’t chase or confront the thief if you are on your own, your health is more important than the stock stolen, but be vigilant as this is going to happen.”