Shopkeeper hides baby milk and detergent behind counter in 'war against shoplifters'

The One Stop, in Barlaston Credit: BPM Media

A shopkeeper has removed baby milk, washing tablets and liquid detergent from the shelves and hidden them behind his counter - in a war against shoplifters.

The One Stop, in Barlaston, has been in the Green family for 39 years.But it is the first time owner Steve Green has had to hide such products behind his counter. The shop is known locally as Leese’s.It comes as Mr Green says shoplifters have been targeting the branch since just before the coronavirus lockdowns.

One notice in the shop states: "Due to a spate of shoplifting, we have taken the decision to relocate the washing detergent. We have placed them behind the counter."Now staff are asking regular shoppers to remain vigilant - and report any suspected criminals.Steve said: “The police are on to it and we’ve put notices around the shop to say that certain items are now being kept behind the counter.

"It’s been ongoing for three or four years, certain people were coming in and taking multiple items, such as chocolate, so they can sell it on elsewhere.“Some people take baby milk and washing detergent so we put them behind the counter but then they take other things instead, such as meat, coffee, chocolate, and whatever they can sell quickly.

"It’s usually the more expensive items and they don’t just take one, they take multiples of each item.“We never used to get much shoplifting. It was just before Covid started so it’s nothing to do with people struggling because of the cost of living.

"I don’t think the thieves are from that far away, they’ll park down the road or get dropped off so we don’t catch the vehicles they use on CCTV.“The thing is we’re a franchise, we’re not company owned, so whatever is stolen affects us directly.

"It’s time consuming checking the CCTV, and filing paperwork for the police, and constantly stocktaking. It means I can’t focus on things that need doing.”