A ‘brazen’ shoplifter stole perfume worth £1,300 from the Boots store in Bourne on Monday.
The thief was spotted around 3.30pm by a shopper picking up the fragrances from the perfume section of the store, placing them in a reusable bag and walking out of the store.
The thief’s haul included DKNY, Paco Rabanne, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Estee Lauder and Armani gift sets.
Ian Martin, community policing inspector for Stamford, Bourne and The Deepings, said: “It is important that people are vigilant at this time of year.
“There was no distraction, and it was a keen-eyed shopper who notified staff to what was happening.
“On this occasion the theft occurred brazenly by the suspect walking in the shop, taking the fragrances from the perfume section of the store, placing them in the large bag and walking out.
“Unfortunately the shoplifter left the store prior to being stopped, but it does show the importance of shoppers and retailers being vigilant to thefts taking place.
“Due to the prevalence of shoppers taking their own bags into stores, it is difficult for retailers to identify shoplifters so easily.”
Police described the suspect as a 6ft middle aged white man, who is of slim build and was wearing a grey flat cap and puffa jacket.
A spokesman for Boots said: “At Boots UK we take any theft extremely seriously and we have a zero tolerance approach to it in our stores.
“We invest significantly in crime prevention and actively work with the police and local authorities to report these types of offences.
“We are committed to continually improving security measures for the protection of our customers, colleagues and property.”
There has been a rise in shoplifting incidents in the Stamford and Bourne areas this year from 11 in October to 15 in November
Inspector Martin said he expects there will be more over the festive period, adding: “While we do not have a huge amount of shoplifting in Stamford and Bourne compared to other areas it is having an impact on local businesses.”
Shops in Bourne and Stamford have been recently visited by police officers who have urged them to challenge shoplifters as part of the police’s ‘challenge and prevent strategy’.
Inspector Martin said in a message to shopkeepers: “Challenge and prevent relates to shoplifters. If people are acting suspiciously or they are known to have stolen from your store previously, you are within your rights to ask them to leave.”
He added that shops could discourage thefts by not putting small items by their doors, as they are at greater risk of being taken if they are positioned there.
If you have information about the theft at Boots in Bourne then call Lincolnshire Police on 101 and quote incident reference number 343 of November 27.