I’ve said this before. Never mind, it bears saying again. You don’t go to the cash and carry to get robbed, do you?
Cheap jokes aside, I gather that it happens way too often. Why else would insurance companies to the independent sector offer cover for goods in transit (and tell me that, while claim number one is broken glass, claim number two is pinched goods)?
Over the years I’ve heard hair-curling stories about crooks tipping sugar into petrol tanks so that you’ll break down a mile or two out of the C&C car park; and even scarier ones where vans are ransacked in the car park while the guard is looking the other way.
Word has got around among thieves that a lot of retailers go ‘cherry-picking’, which means that they have already loaded up on fags and booze at other wholesalers when they make a final stop for the rest of the goods.
“We were broken into twice recently at a Costco depot and had cigarettes and spirits worth thousands stolen from our van,” says Mohammed Azam, who runs Teem Spirits at Reddish in Stockport. “We hid the fags in the freezer bags, but they must know that trick. They know if there’s a van parked there it’s got something in it.”
Mohammed wrote to me to express his disgust at the branch manager’s ho-hum, happens-all-the-time attitude.
I rang Costco’s head office and the press officer said the company would prefer to not comment to me but to deal directly with the retailer.
And within a couple of days it did. Not only did the manager apologise, but the general manager from head office contacted Mohammed to ask him what he thought might help the situation in the future.
He says: “I suggested that, since they have a lot of disabled parking near the entrance, why not take some of it and create a dedicated commercial vehicle space?”