Dunstable store under fire after erasing CCTV of theft

A Dunstable store has been slammed after it deleted CCTV footage showing two thieves stealing money from a pensioner's wallet.

Wednesday, 3rd October 2018, 12:29 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd October 2018, 12:34 pm
B&M store in Dunstable
B&M store in Dunstable

B&M store on Luton Road, Dunstable, came under fire after deleting footage of the incident on June 12, as well as failing to engage with the police officer working on the case.

Customer Derek Saunders lost £120 in the theft and has been left feeling shortchanged by B&M’s attitude.

He said: “At the very least, I think the manager and her staff were negligent in not saving this vital piece of evidence.”

Mr Saunders had placed the wallet in his trolley and noticed it was missing when he came to the checkout.

After the cashier stated that a wallet had been handed in and returned it to Mr Saunders, he noticed £120 was missing.

He was then assured by the store manager that CCTV showed two men carrying out the theft and he was encouraged to contact police.

He said: “I followed their advice and made the report to Dunstable Police within an hour. Their officer telephoned me subsequently and said she was having trouble getting the manager to reply to her.”

Mr Saunders claims that other CCTV from the store was sent to police in error, while the crucial footage showing the theft was deleted.

In a subsequent letter to his complaint, a B&M customer service wrote to him: “I am sorry you left your wallet in our store.

“Having spoken to [the manager], she confirmed viewing the CCTV and witnessing two men taking the money out of your wallet and discarding the wallet in store.

“When the police were notifed, the manager had advised there was a time limit for the CCTV but the police didn’t collect the CCTV until some days later and time had lapsed.

“We’re sorry that this incident happened in our store and believe staff did everything they could to track the two individuals. Unfortunately, once CCTV has been erased we have no way of retrieving it.”

In his response, Mr Saunders wrote: “The police officer told me that during the 30 day time limit, she repeatedly telephoned your Dunstable store to make arrangements ... and left messages that were never answered.

“I would ask you to describe what your staff actually did to track the two individuals?

“Certainly the identifying footage never contributed to the efforts.”

B&M failed to respond after they were contacted by the Dunstable Gazette.