'I only popped out to buy milk but soon found myself caught up in a crime scene'

'I only popped out to buy milk but soon found myself caught up in a crime scene'

WATCH NOW: GB News' Charlie Peters caught a shoplifter on video

Charlie Peters

By Charlie Peters

Published: 04/03/2024

- 22:56

Updated: 05/03/2024

- 07:43

GB News investigates reporter Charlie Peters reveals what happened when he visited his local supermarket over the weekend

I didn’t expect my Sunday night trip to the local Sainsbury’s to become so eventful.

I only popped out to pick up a carton of milk but soon found myself caught up in a crime scene.

While roaming the aisles, I turned a corner to see a stocky bloke in a black cap smuggling bottles of olive into his parka.

The clink as bottle after bottle fell into his pockets was almost comedic. It was so brazen. He quite clearly didn’t expect anyone to notice, let alone anyone to care.

GB News' Charlie Peters filmed a shoplifter at a London Sainsbury's

GB News' Charlie Peters filmed a shoplifter at a London Sainsbury's


At first I thought it was an odd way to gather your shopping, but the indicators and warnings of his gear (thief’s parka, bag packed to the brim, black cap) and the third bottle falling into his pocket gave it away. A crime was underway.

The videography skills I’ve picked up during my time working at GB News quickly came into effect as I recorded some broadcast-friendly footage of another two bottles plonking into his parka.

With evidence in hand, I rushed over to the security guard on the door, and we worked together to intervene and prevent the theft.

After the scuffle, the would-be thief dropped his backpack, where more bottles of oil, honey and detergent were found - all items regularly resold on the black market.

We also found some clothes and a woman’s purse.

He attempted to come back to the store to pick up ‘his’ stuff, but the excellent security guard prevented him from re-entering.

GB News Reporter Charlie Peters provides a major update on this important story.

GB News Reporter Charlie Peters quickly started recording as the shoplifter started pocketing products


The store manager thanked us for helping out in spotting and preventing the thief, but he was exasperated by the whole scenario.

Clearly it isn’t a rare experience. He said it happened most days and that the thieves are emboldened by the police not being present quickly enough when these incidents occur.

The criminals are getting away with it.

All of this is costing a pretty penny, with stolen products and security measures costing the average convenience £6,800 a year, according to the Association of Convenience Stores.

Consumers are bearing the brunt of this cost, paying a 10p ‘crime tax’ every time we pop to the shops.

A report from the association published today also found that its shopkeepers faced 5.6 million thefts in 2023, leaping up from 1.1 million incidents recorded in 2022.

The shoplifter was snapped by Charlie Peters

The shoplifter was snapped by Charlie Peters


And like the incident last night in London, many of them involve verbal - and physical - abuse.

This is a totally intolerable situation. Britain’s wave of shoplifting must be stopped, but progress won’t commence until managers like last night’s embattled shopkeeper feel like they can work with police support.

Fifteen minutes after we stopped the thief from leaving with his stolen goods, the police still hadn’t arrived. I only received a reference number for my call and an opportunity to send further evidence a day later.

The demand placed on officers has grown as the resources they have available have been tightened.

Shoplifting just isn’t a priority when a wildfire of knife crime, gang violence and everyday moments of life-and-death take centre stage.

It’s a dire situation, but there are solutions that involve more cops, more courts, more cells.

If we continue to neglect the policing of our streets and stores, then worse crimes will follow.

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