• More than 200 cases reported since the beginning of 2024

This is a new trend that is eating away at businesses. Since the start of the year, more than two hundred cases of shoplifting in supermarkets, stores, and even markets have been recorded by the police. On Wednesday, after weeks of work on the ground, police were able to track down two suspects. While Shane Mélidor, 24, and Alisha Ricaud, 34, were operating in a supermarket in the heart of Port-Louis, Sergeant Changiah's team from the Divisional Crime Intelligence Unit (DCIU) was able to get their hands on the duo.

According to the police investigation, the suspects acted at least twice a day, posing as ordinary customers. It was through viewing images from surveillance cameras that the security agents of a busy supermarket in the capital discovered the shenanigans of these thieves. The police then began an exercise to trace the suspects.

After understanding the modus operandi of the thugs, the DCIU carried out information cross-checking work on the ground. During investigations, the police established that the duo had been operating in this supermarket since at least January 2024.

“So this is what we're doing and we're not going to go anywhere,” indicate our sources close to the investigation. The tandem would have identified where the security agents and surveillance cameras were located on the premises, before taking action.

During the exercise of viewing camera images, and after collecting grievances from managers of certain supermarkets in the capital, the police established that at least 200 cases of shoplifting took place during the period. from January to May 2024. Faced with the police, the two suspects confessed to their actions. They both explained that they did this because they would not have enough to eat. “Nou pena manze, nou pe tras enn ti lavi misie. » Cans, bottles of gin, peanuts, among other things, were stolen.

April: Around sixty thefts committed by the duo

During the month of April alone, the police estimate that the duo acted on at least sixty occasions. According to the investigation, entrusted to the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) of Port-Louis South, Shane Melidor and Alisha Ricaud were active after observing everything and ensuring that their attacks were not going to fail. They had studied the placements of the various security guards present in the supermarkets and were cautious.

To go through the checkouts, the duo presented themselves in turn with a few ordinary products so as not to arouse suspicion. Police suspect that the suspects concealed products in their clothing and only checked out with low-priced products. When the security system alerted the officers, they produced their freshly obtained receipts. These techniques are known in the industry, say our sources close to the investigation. Every day, Shane and Alisha went to the supermarket twice, before leaving with unpaid goods.

A stolen can of caviar

Various businesses offering “Self-Service” have been victims. Some times, suspects are spotted on surveillance camera footage, while other times, more cunning thieves take the necessary precautions to hide any details that could identify them. “Some wear masks, others polo shirts, still others loose clothing…” share our sources close to the police.

A few weeks ago, the police were alerted to a case of theft of a 50 gram can of caviar. This product costs around Rs 4,000 per unit. The box, being small, is easily hidden. To date, the suspect, believed to be an “elderly” man, has not yet been identified. He also took care to hide his face throughout his time in the supermarket.

Usually, suspects are observed after being “caught red-handed” by officers who view surveillance camera images in real time. They are arrested only after going through the checkout and searching a closed room, and the police are alerted after the discovery of stolen products.

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