Chronicle exposes shoplifters

THE number of shoplifters caught at Betros Bros in Toowoomba has reduced by 90 per cent after the Chronicle exposed a problem that was spiralling out of control.

Bevan Betros said the rate of shoplifting had dropped dramatically, but there were still “habitual” offenders.

“Since the expose on shoplifting that was started by The Chronicle we’ve had a dramatic reduction in the number of people we’re catching, or even suspicious of,” Mr Betros said.

“I think it’s because they now know, thanks to the media, that if they come in here and steal they will get prosecuted.”

National media picked up the story in October last year when Mr Betros told The Chronicle the problem was getting out of control in the city.

But he is still calling for changes to legislation to increase the penalties for offenders.

“At the moment, the onus is on us to prove everything to the nth degree — the State Government needs to increase the penalties for shoplifting,” he said.

“It needs to be known that if you shoplift you’ll get in serious trouble.”

Mr Betros estimated he prosecuted two or three people who were caught shoplifting in his Toowoomba stores every month last year.