Video catches brazen youngsters stealing sweets and vapes from shop

Video catches brazen youngsters stealing sweets and vapes from shop as owner says the thefts are costing him up to £1,500 a month

  • Business owner Saba Mahesh says he’s losing £50 every day from brazen thieves
  • Video shows children entering his stores and raiding his aisles before fleeing 

A business owner has claimed he is losing around £1,500 a month from children stealing sweets and disposable vapes from his stores.

Saba Mahesh, who owns four newsagents in Sheerness, a town of the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, has shared CCTV footage of the brazen thieves crawling into his stores and raiding the aisles before scurrying away.

The 50-year-old businessman, who owns 3A’s Wines, Fitch’s Newsagents, SS Convenience Store and SS News, has claimed that youth crime in the area has been at an all time high since the pandemic.

In one video a teenager can be seen crawling into a shop on all fours in a bid to enter without being seen while his friend waits outside on a bike. He then brushes past another shopper, raids the sweets section and quickly flees with the friend.

A separate video shows a group of three young boys walking into a store, as one takes his time to pick out a selection of items before they all flee. And in a third clip, the thieves make their way behind the counter to steal controversial disposable vapes – which the Local Government Association said should be banned last month.

Several videos have caught brazen youths raiding stores in Kent. Here, one gets on all fours while his friend waits on a bike in the background

The boy then proceeds to raid the aisles, grabbing sweets before fleeing with his hood up

In a rush to flee the store, the boy leaves items strewn over the floor. There have been several thefts caught on camera

Mr Mahesh claims that the shocking increase in crime has left him losing £50 worth of goods across his businesses every day.

‘Since the Covid pandemic things have got really bad,’ he told Kent Online. ‘These kids are stealing sweets, toys and even forcefully taking boxes of disposable vapes from behind the counters.’ 

READ MORE: Britain’s Wild West shopping: Now John Lewis staff are forced to wear bodycams to tackle rise in violence and shoplifting 

Mr Mahesh says that he first started reporting the young thieves in 2021 but he doesn’t know what he can do at this point.

He added: ‘The kids keep coming back because they’re getting away with it.

‘If myself and my staff are busy serving other customers they sneak in and steal without us realising. I can’t invest in security guards either as it will be a waste of money that’ll further eat into my profits.’

He consistently uploads the CCTV footage into local Facebook groups such as ‘Sheppey crime group’ as he calls on the public for help in identifying them. 

Mr Mashesh said his businesses are ‘really struggling’ to cope with the financial hit they are facing. 

He says that he has had to stop special offers on some products and raise the costs on others such as increasing milk from £1.70 to £1.90.

Other residents in Sheerness have blasted children for their behaviour in recent years – with one grandmother describing them as ‘feral’ after they stoned a duck to death.

Jackie Smith, 65, said that she started screaming at children throwing stones at a duck on July 24 but when she walked closer she realised they had killed one. She described the behaviour as ‘psychopathic’.

Last month, Sheerness County Youth Centre boss Ray Featherstone claimed the increase in anti-social behaviour is because there is nothing for the children to do.

Saba Mahesh, who owns four newsagents in Sheerness, a town of the Isle of Sheppey, claims he is losing £1,500 a month

Another video caught a group of youths going behind the counter to steal controversial disposable vapes

‘There isn’t anything for young people to do and because of that teenagers trying to have some fun suddenly start doing something illegal instead,’ he said.

Over the last six months, vandals have burnt down a playground castle at the Beachfield’s sandpit and damaged parked cars belonging to staff at Wiggles Playgroup.

They have also thrown paint and glass in an outdoor paddling pool at Sheppey Leisure Complex and ripped plants from flower beds in Marine Town.

It has also been revealed that staff at John Lewis are having to resort to wearing body-worn cameras due to the rise in violence and shoplifting in Britain.

MailOnline has contacted Kent Police for comment. 

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