Ashok Kumar, who runs SNS General Store in Birmingham, bought two trolleys-worth of goods at his local Costco, worth about £2,000. He needed a hand to get the two trolleys to his vehicle and so enlisted the help of what he believed to be a Costco security guard.
En route to the van someone snatched about £1,000-worth of goods from the Costco worker's trolley and raced off in a car before anyone could stop him.
Ashok was convinced that Costco would be able to cover his losses. However, he was told that once you have paid for the goods, you are responsible for them. The manager offered to provide CCTV footage if he wished to call the police.
I spoke to Costco's press officer and she explained: "We don't really have security guards. We have 'helpers'. They are not in uniform and not trained as security guards."
When I spoke to the retailer once more he recalled that the helper wore reflective clothing, but not necessarily a security guard's uniform.
He also pointed out that his other local cash & carries, Blakemore and Booker, take a more proactive role. Both record the licence plate and the customer number of everyone entering the car park and visiting
the depot. Security camera evidence can then be more easily linked to
the crime.