SINGAPORE — A total of 80 cases of milk powder thefts were reported last year, causing estimated losses of $27,000, according to the Singapore Police Force (SPF).
SPF added that there were 73 cases of milk powder thefts reported in 2020 and 96 in 2021, resulting in estimated losses of $18,000 and $26,000 respectively.
Today Online reported on Wednesday (25 January) that the majority of offenders were in their 20s to 40s. About 35 per cent of cases were committed in groups of two or more, while 39 per cent of cases were eventually taken to court.
Plastic screens by NTUC FairPrice on infant formula shelves
These figures were released following media queries on measures made by NTUC FairPrice to prevent shoplifting of its infant formula products.
Plastic screens had been installed at Bukit Batok MRT and Boon Lay Shopping Centre supermarket outlets, and photos circulated online went viral as netizen debated on why some Singaporeans had to resort to stealing milk powder from the supermarket chain.
The plastic screens have been in place for two weeks and the supermarket chain is considering an extension.
The statistics were released following a Facebook video posted last week by Bukit Batok MP Murali Pillai, who said that while some people were under the impression that families cannot afford milk powder for their children, FairPrice is more concerned about those who steal with the view of wanting to make a profit.
Local Reddit users were quick to criticise the data released by SPF. Reddit user Glittering-Hope-8897 commented on the irony of the situation.
Other users were sympathetic of the plight of these infant formula thieves.
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