She went to the depot, where she has been trading for nearly 20 years, and she stocked up on about £1,000-worth of cigarettes, among other goods.
When she got to the checkout she could see through the automatic doors that there was a parking space closer than the one she had originally parked in. She asked a member of staff to mind her trolley and went, very briefly, outside to move her car. It was, however, long enough for a thief to nip in through the automatic doors as they opened to let another customer leave.
The bloke who was supposed to be watching the trolley (not a security guard) had turned his back and, wallop, two bin liners of cigarettes were gone, although the crooks left the wine our retailer had also purchased (no doubt too cumbersome to dash away with).
The cameras caught the guy running off and clocked the number plates, but they were false.
When she first contacted me she was unhappy with the cash & carry's lack of response and was getting very little joy from her insurance company either.
I spoke to the head office of the cash & carry, which at the time was unaware of the crime (the branch manager had been away on a course). A spokesman confirmed that the last thing they wanted was an aggrieved customer.
Since then, both retailer and wholesaler have been working together to sort the problem out via the insurance. "It's a long process," says the retailer. "The cash & carry has been very kind. I just want to warn others - be cautious both inside and outside the depot."