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Nyeri supermarket owner finds new trick to catch shoplifters

An Indian businessman who owns a Nyeri supermarket has improvised a unique security surveillance method.

The proprietor of Kasturi Supermaket has ordered a set of employees to perch themselves on six-foot high metal stools to watch over potential shoplifters and pickpockets.

This is besides having Close Circuit  Television Cameras in the premise.

A spot check by Nairobi News revealed that the employees are strategically assigned to sit on the high stools at the back of each row to watch and monitor the activities of shoppers.


According to the supermarket owner, Mr Patel Didakkumar Chimannlal, this is his way of ensuring security for his goods and protecting customers from pickpockets.

Even though Mr Chimannlal has installed surveillance CCTV cameras inside and at the entrance of the supermarket, he says they are not sufficient to catch pickpockets and shoplifters especially during peak hours.

“When customers flock in the supermarket, it is so difficult to know those who have good intentions and those who have bad intentions. So my surveillance employees will easily catch any one who is trying to steal either from the shop or from other customers,” Mr Chimannlal explained.

The surveillance employees keep rotating as a way of keeping them alert. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI
The surveillance employees keep rotating as a way of keeping them alert. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI


Each of the rows of the supermarket is manned by two employees. One enjoys an aerial view from the high stools, while the other keeps watch on the floor while assisting customers.

“We keep rotating amongst ourselves such that at no one point will the surveillance seats be left without anyone keeping watch of each row” said an employee.

Mr Chimannlal’s surveillance system is also meant to ensure his employees are “awake and alert” as they could easily fall from the top in case they fall asleep.

Asked why he resorted to the unique style, Mr Chimannlal explained how a customer, who was shopping at another supermarket in Nyeri where he used to work before opening the Kasturi, lost a phone to a pickpocket.

“After intensive investigations and tracking, the phone was found with a person in Nairobi. That’s when my idea was born.” he said.

“When I moved to this supermarket in 2002, I decided that I will employ all techniques possible to keep away shoplifters and pickpockets. I contracted a mechanic who made these stools and I have been able to keep away these kind of thieves.”