Friday, December 15, 2017

Accused shoplifters shamed by supermarket

...owner says he is fed up with police inaction

The photo posted online.

A Chaguanas businessman has been criticized by some for “punishing” a man and a woman who attempted to shoplift from his supermarket last Friday morning.

Imtiaz Ali, owner of Low Cost Supermarket, detained the two shoplifters who he said were caught stealing several tins of ghee (clarified butter) and other items.

The pair were made to pose for a photograph while holding a sign reading “I am a perfect thief”.

The photograph was then posted to the supermarket's Facebook page in an attempt to embarrass shoplifters, who Ali said had stolen from the supermarket numerous times in the past.

The post was shared over 2,500 times. It has since been removed.

The move garnered criticism from some who deemed the action “harsh” and said the supermarket should have handled the matter privately.

Ali however told the Express on Saturday that he acted out of frustration and a lack of faith in the police to deal with the matter.

He said his supermarket had been targeted by the two individuals several times in the recent past. He said the woman often disguised herself in Muslim garb.

On the latest occasion, he said, the pair were found to have thousands of dollars worth of items in their vehicle including Cadbury chocolates, which were stolen from his supermarket and several others in the area.

He said going to the police was causing even more of an inconvenience as he then had to make time to attend court hearings every time the matter was put off.

So he sought to shame the shoplifters instead.

“The number of times they steal, I am frustrated and fed up,” said Ali.

“People who feel what we did was wrong don't know what we have to deal with. We get no justice from the police.”

Ali sent a message for those who had criticised his actions saying he had responded in a non-violent manner when others might have resorted to violence.