The 5 most popular products in Spanish supermarkets for thieves

by Lorraine Williamson

MADRID – Have you ever wondered what are the most loved products by supermarket thieves in Spain? Here’s a list of the top 5 products that most often “accidentally” disappear in someone’s bag without going through the checkout. 

The data comes from a survey by The Source Tagging Company (STC) and comes from more than 10,000 points of sale from 60 supermarket chains across Spain. Thefts in supermarkets are commonplace. Despite the fact that most supermarkets protect more expensive products with alarms or anti-theft systems, thieves regularly manage to smuggle them out of the store. 

The products most stolen in Spain over the past six months are gourmet products, including products from the Iberian pig such as ham and sausages, but also tuna, liqueurs and wine. In addition, the data shows that there is also a difference per autonomous community in which products are stolen the most. 

Related post: The cheapest and most expensive supermarkets in Spain 

At a regional level, for example, most ice is stolen in Madrid and Valencia. In Catalonia, cava is a popular product to steal. Octopus is the most stolen in Galicia and Asturias and shrimps are the favourite in Cantabria. In Andalucia, shoplifters prefer wedges of cheese and olive oil. 

Most stolen products in Spain 

The most stolen products in Spain are liqueurs, products from the Iberian pig, shaving products, tuna and wines. “Anyone of us can steal,” says Salvador Cañones, partner director of STC, specialising in anti-theft systems and solutions. He comments on the research in CadenaSer. According to him, theft occurs in every social class. The pattern of favourite products differs based on the different gastronomic cultures in each region. 

Cogesa Expats

The Balearic Islands, for example, are a very characteristic region in terms of thefts. According to the investigation, products from the country itself, such as local wines and cheeses, are mainly stolen here. 

Seasoned kleptomaniacs are a large minority. The largest group of “thieves” consists of people who want a product for which they are not willing to pay. It is striking that few basic products, but especially more luxurious products, are stolen. 

“There are also people who steal based on their perception of danger, opportunity and reward. If they feel unobserved, something slips into a bag more easily. Others steal as much as possible in the shortest possible time to later sell them on at a lower price,” confirms Cañones. The research also clearly shows that less well-secured supermarkets suffer more from thefts. 

Up to €400 stolen is seen as a minor crime 

In Spain, theft is considered a petty crime when the value of the stolen property does not exceed €400. In these cases, the penalty can be a fine of one to three months. The fine is calculated on the basis of the convicted person’s daily wages. Therefore, this may vary according to their economic situation. 

If the value of the stolen item exceeds €400, it may be considered a more serious crime and the penalties may be more severe. In these cases, the crime would be considered theft and the consequences could include jail terms that vary depending on the severity of the crime and the specific circumstances of the case. 

Also read: Stock cubes and cat food kept under lock and key in some supermarkets

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