Couple allegedly caught in elaborate supermarket grift: 'Very creative'

CCTV allegedly shows the brazen robberies taking place, reflecting the growing supermarket shoplifting crisis across much of the Australian state.

A split image showing a couple in an aisle of a Drake Supermarket, with the woman seen earlier entering the store with a large gift-wrapped box.
A couple have been caught on camera allegedly stealing from multiple supermarkets in Adelaide, using a large 'present' as cover to conceal the groceries beneath. Source: 9News

An Aussie couple has been publicly called out for their alleged "creative" shoplifting technique, which has been caught on video at multiple grocery stores. The South Australian pair have allegedly been stealing from multiple Drakes Supermarkets across Adelaide, with owners claiming collectively, they lifted products worth in excess of $1,500.

CCTV from a store in Salisbury North shows the man and woman enter the store separately, with the woman carrying a large gift-wrapped present with a bow on top in a trolley. She can be seen walking around the supermarket appearing to browse, before she meets her companion in an aisle who has a full cart of produce.

The woman then appears to place the present on top of his groceries, concealing what's beneath it, before the duo swap trolleys. She then allegedly walks out of the store without paying for the products under the large gift, making off with the haul unnoticed.

The woman is seen entering the store with the gift-wrapped present, beside a still of the man and woman swapping trolleys in the aisle.
In CCTV, a woman is seen placing a large, possibly bottomless box over a man's groceries, concealing what's beneath. Source: 9News

The couple, who are accompanied by a child in the footage, are accused of repeating the process a number of times across various supermarkets, with the "gift" even changing wrapping paper each time they allegedly carry out the routine.

Drakes Supermarket boss John-Paul Drake branded the method "very creative", saying he "hadn't seen such creativity" among shoplifters before. "If they put that creativity toward something else, I'm sure they'd be very successful," he told 9News.

Drake said the pair allegedly shoplifted in multiple supermarkets in the city's north across a four week period, wracking up a bill of over $1,500. The chain has shared video footage with media, revealing the unusual technique employed by the couple.

In the clip (with the unedited footage seen below) Drake lists off each suburb in which the couple allegedly targeted stores.

"There's plenty of charitable organisations out there, if you need food on your table there's plenty who can help. Unfortunately we are not one of those," he said, adding that he suspects some products are being sold on Facebook Marketplace.

According to Drakes, the family-run business loses around $10 million worth of stolen products every year, with a 38 per cent spike in theft reported in the past 12 months alone.

The issue of shoplifting is one that has plagued Adelaide for some time, with authorities scrambling over how best to manage the crisis.

As the cost of living crisis continues to sting, SA Police just last week said shoplifting in the state was spiralling out of control, with theft rising by 30 per cent in a year — a "trend that is expected to continue". There were 1,455 shoplifting offences in March alone.

The couple are seen in a TV commercial from Drakes Supermarket boss, calling out the alleged shoplifting.
The couple then exit the store separately, allegedly without paying. Source: 9News

Back in August, retailers warned that shoplifting was "out of control", while in April, a police blitz apprehend 48 people in just one day for shoplifting during a major police operation at Adelaide's popular Rundle Mall.

In many cases, it's not the usual suspects being caught out. While organised crime is involved, so too are average mum and dads, according to Josh Peak from the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association, a notion apparently reflected in the Drakes CCTV footage.

"We continue to see the impact of organised crime and gangs... but we're seeing a lot of theft from people whom you could categorise as mum and dads," he said. "So it is a worry."

Drakes Supermarkets is working with SA Police to identify the man and woman seen in the footage.

SA Police told Yahoo News Australia on Tuesday that no arrests or charges had yet been made.

Do you have a story tip? Email:

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube.