PLASTERED on the front of cigarette cabinets at a suburban convenience store are the faces of children business owners say are responsible for thousands of dollars worth of petty theft.
They’re part of a “pack” of nine children as young as eight years old that Redbank News and Convenience owner Peter Clymo says ambush his store every day.
They steal drinks, flavoured milk, chips, lollies and chocolate bars but Mr Clymo said he has also seen some of the children inhale cans of deodorant they’ve stolen from his business.
“Rexona Sports just goes straight down their necks, they’re drinking the stuff,” Mr Clymo said.
“We lost seven or eight cans of deodorant in the past four weeks and that’s just the deodorant. They steal everything because they go everywhere.”
My Clymo said he had been battling youth theft for seven years but more recently was faced with packs of kids running riot.
“There used to be four persistent young girls in full school uniforms who would take about $14 worth of stuff every single day. I was smiling and talking nicely to them when the girls were hiding things up their sisters’ dresses and stealing all the chocolate bars,” he said.
“It’s been happening for six or seven years but now, in the past two years, we have a pack mentality where they are running together.”
Last financial year the family-owned business lost close to $5000 worth of stock due to petty theft.
Mr Clymo said it’s enough to ruin his business but his biggest concern was staff safety.
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