The Surf Co. speaks out about thieves targeting the Warrnambool business

NOT HAPPY: The Surf Co owner Raelene Ponting has installed security cameras that capture every corner of her shop to try and deter people from shoplifting. Picture: Rob Gunstone
NOT HAPPY: The Surf Co owner Raelene Ponting has installed security cameras that capture every corner of her shop to try and deter people from shoplifting. Picture: Rob Gunstone

THIEVES have been put on notice. 

If you steal, your image will be posted on social media for the broader community to see.

Warrnambool businesswoman Raelene Ponting has had enough, and is taking the drastic action to stop thousands of dollars worth of stock leaving her business unpaid for.

The Surf Co. owner says she will post images of the brazen thieves to Facebook, in a bid to deter anyone wanting to make a five-finger discount.

Over the past two weeks alone they have captured three incidents on their upgraded security cameras – a measure they had to implement after Mrs Ponting says up to $1000 a week in products was being stolen.

Each time she has contacted police, and Mrs Ponting said they had been extremely helpful.

“The police are great. They say to ring them anytime.”

On Wednesday the surf store posted an image of a young person who had stolen an item on its Facebook page.

After seeing her image online, the girl contacted the store. Her parents returned her to the store and police were called. 

Mrs Ponting said offenders were generally in their teens and some were even captured wearing their school uniforms.

“Over the last three months we have noticed it has gotten really bad,” she said.

“We have noticed tags and empty clothes hangers in change rooms and stock is missing.”

The Surf Co. installed new security cameras about three weeks ago. 

“We’ve upgraded to the best security system we can have from Viscomm,” she said. “There is not one spot in this shop now that anyone can steal from that they can’t be seen.”  She said there had been other incidents over the past six months were youngsters had been caught.

“The parents are very apologetic,” she said.

Mrs Ponting said her shop wasn’t the only one in Warrnambool being targeted.

“We work so hard for our money and to make a living out of a small business,” she said. “We will not hesitate to put anyone on social media. You will end up on there if you steal.”