Theft and shoplifting are crimes that all types of shops, from the smallest to the largest supermarkets, face on a daily basis. The most stolen items vary depending on the time of year when the theft takes place and the location itself, with some products being stolen more in some regions than others.
With the onset of heat, holidays and more intense nightlife, the most frequently stolen products are sunscreen, condoms, alcoholic drinks, and ice cream.
The amount of thefts in summer represents 0.9% of recorded sales during the summer period, which means that around €170 million are lost during summer. This makes summer the season with the highest theft rate. A trend that is only increasing, which means several businesses have to look for measures against shoplifting to prevent losses, especially in the case of small shops.
According to data from the Spanish Ministry of the Interior, summer thefts in Spain account for 26.7% of the annual total and last year 2022 saw more than 170,000 cases. Moreover, compared to previous years’ data, summer 2022 thefts increased by 24.7% compared to the previous year.
The most stolen products in supermarkets by region in Spain
The most stolen products in Spanish supermarkets differ by region. In Madrid, ice cream and cosmetic products are mostly stolen. Whereas in Andalucia, mosquito repellents and sunscreen are preferred, in the Valencian Community it´s sunscreen and garden products, in Galicia preserves and cheese, in Asturias frozen hake, in Cantabria sunscreen and in the Basque Country fresh produce and oils.
In Castile and León, sunglasses are mostly stolen, in La Rioja wines and liqueurs, and in Navarre shavers. In Catalonia, most thefts involve wine and spirits, followed by sausages and ice cream. In Aragon, mainly coffee capsules are stolen and in the Balearic Islands mainly make-up products.
In Extremadura, mosquito repellents are stolen the most, in Castilla-La Mancha cheeses, in Murcia slippers and in the Canary Islands condoms are the most stolen product.
Theft for sale later
The profile of thieves has changed over the years. While some time ago criminals traded to consume the stolen goods themselves, today the trend shows that they steal to sell the stolen goods to gain economic advantage.
Spain, one of the countries with the highest rates of shoplifting
Spain is one of the countries with the highest rates of shoplifting and where shoplifting is also more seasonal. This can be explained by tourism in summer. Several studies show that 25% of thefts in Spanish shops take place in summer.
Deployment of Guardia Civil
To prevent such problems, the Ministry of Interior will deploy nearly 4,000 officers from the National Police and the Guardia Civil to prevent itinerant crime in order to encourage the influx of tourists.
According to Guardia Civil data, the retail sector is the victim of 49% of thefts and 54% of violent robberies in summer, while the hospitality industry is the victim of 33% of violent robberies. Moreover, this is a growing problem that state security forces are trying to tackle.