On Friday this week The Business Times reported a story about the increasing number of shoplifting cases in Rwanda’s largest retail supermarket, Nakumatt.
This story follows a string of incidents in Simba supermarket including one in which a 50-year old lady, Anita Mukamana, was caught trying to shoplift four kilograms of beef.
At that moment two students were arrested on the spot trying to steal chocolates.
According to Justine Ngarambe, the Managing Director of Simba supermarket, about 12 cases of shoplifting are recorded every month. On average the figure is around 25-30 people in Nakumatt, according to the management of the supermarket.
This crime is detected using security closed camera installed in Rwanda’s largest supermarkets.
While the supermarkets say that they endeavor to handle these shoplifting cases with appropriate and effective action, they are also concerned that police often releases the criminals with less effective sanctions.
“We are concerned the police are not doing enough to protect us from these people who look forward to get free items here, safety is everyone’s concern,” Ngarambe was quoted saying.
Therefore there is urgent need to reduce this crime which in the eyes of many people seems to be harmless. It is also important for stakeholders to understand losses associated with shoplifting and how it affects everyone in an economy.
The increase of this consumer misbehavior increases product costs, payroll costs and retail prices there by eating into the retailers’ profits and cutting state tax revenues.
And if appropriate strategies are to be developed in order to contain this problem, then police, merchants and retailers as well as other relevant authorities must understand the underlying causes of shoplifting problems.