19 Sep, 2023 @ 14:30
1 min read

HANDS OFF: Spanish supermarkets putting electronic tags on OLIVE OIL as shoplifting surges

Tesco Expat Supermarket A

SPANISH supermarkets are putting electronic tags on products such as olive oil in bid to ward off shoplifters as the cost-of-living crisis bites.

They have also beefed up security to patrol the aisles across and try to deter the thieves or even catch them red handed.

The steady uptick in supermarket prices has seen a surge in thefts that amount to over €800 million annually, representing 0.75% of total turnover, according to the Spanish Association of Manufacturers and Distributors (AECOC).

Most supermarket chains have not employed constant surveillance up until now, with the exception of Carrefour.

Dia has adopted a policy of placing electronic tags on items that cost €8 or more as olive oil has become a prime target.

In many supermarkets, this staple of the Mediterranean diet now costs €35.75 for five litres.

Olive oil prices in Spain have risen by 114.8% since March 2021, while the cost of the same brand of olive oil can be up to 45% more expensive in one supermarket than in another chain. 

The most commonly stolen items include high-value deli products, perfumes, and alcoholic beverages. Experts have noted that these thefts are often driven by impulse rather than need, or may be carried out by specialised gangs.

Despite recent changes to the Penal Code, which introduced prison sentences of 6 to 18 months for multi-repeated thefts, the problem continues to grow.

There has been a 30.2% year-on-year increase in thefts reported in 2022 and a 12% increase in the first quarter of 2023. 

The current €400 threshold of penalties for multi-repeated theft has been deemed problematic, as canny thieves target lower-value items that don’t meet it.


Walter Finch

Walter - or Walt to most people - is a former and sometimes still photographer and filmmaker who likes to dig under the surface.
A NCTJ-trained journalist, he came to the Costa del Sol - Gibraltar hotspot from the Daily Mail in 2022 to report on organised crime, corruption, financial fraud and a little bit of whatever is going on.
Got a story? [email protected]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Man conceals gun from police in his boxer shorts and fires bullet into his penis resulting in emergency surgery in Spain's Alicante area
Previous Story

German tourist ‘reborn’, as he recovers from severe cuts caused by a 3-metre fall into a glass panel in Spain’s Mallorca

Next Story

Body of woman found dumped in Torremolinos is of 21-year-old expat who moved to Spain just one year ago

Latest from Business & Finance

Go toTop

More From The Olive Press

New high speed train will connect Madrid with Lisbon in just three hours from this date

IF a traveller wants to avoid taking a flight between
Wtcg And Partners Funds Humanitarian Rescue Mission In Afghanistan Copia 1

Three Spanish tourists are shot dead in Afghanistan: Multiple others injured

THREE tourists from Spain’s Catalunya region were killed yesterday in