Do not shoplift, but even more so, don’t bring your child along to witness your crime. That’s the message one mini-mart in Singapore has sent out to the alleged perpetrators of several thefts that had occurred at the shop.
A notice put up by Ace Mart, located along Yishun Ring Road, showed the alleged shoplifters — a man and a woman — along with a child standing nearby.
Instead of a simple warning, however, the poster carried an unusual message at the fore.
“Kindly refrain from bringing your children along when stealing groceries. We do not wish to see your child learn the wrong things growing up.”
A following line in red noted, “Please do not be like the couple in the photos below”.
Pictures printed on the notice showed a couple who looked to be in their early 30s at the cashier, and a child of about five years of age standing behind them, reported Lianhe Wanbao.
When contacted by the Chinese evening daily, a spokesperson for the mini-mart said the alleged perpetrators were “familiar faces” at the store.
The person added that the woman was observed to have shoplifted from the mini-mart multiple times, usually with the child in tow. Occasionally, the woman would be accompanied by another man. The spokesperson observed that there have been two different male individuals so far. Based on information from residents, the spokesperson noted that woman and child are believed to be mother and daughter, but their relationship to the men are not clear.
The most recent case happened last month on August 29, and the notice was put up on Sept 11.
The spokesperson said: “We are open 24 hours, and they will usually come to the shop at about 1am to 2am. At that time, we would only have one staff on duty.”
Describing one such incident, the person added: “The man was talking to the cashier, diverting her attention. The woman then grabbed a bottle of laundry detergent and put it on the grass patch outside the shop.
“They then bought a packet of instant noodles and left. After a while, they returned to retrieve the bottle of detergent. Everything was captured on CCTV.”
The spokesperson added that the items they took are usually household products. But what the management team found harder to swallow was how they would bring the child along each time.
“The girl is about five years old and she should be old enough to realise that the adults are stealing,” said the spokesperson, who expressed worry that the child may emulate their actions in future.
In order to have the poster taken down, the couple in the photo would have to call the number indicated on the notice. However, the spokesperson indicated that no one has come forward as yet after nearly a week.
“The point of putting up the notice is to stop them from bringing their child with them, and to request that they pay for the stolen items. If they are facing financial difficulties, they can be upfront and we can discuss the matter, or we may even decide not to pursue the matter further,” said the spokesperson.