Pretty Little Thing steps up security at Sheffield warehouse after thefts from lockers
Security has been stepped up at Pretty Little Thing’s warehouse in Sheffield after a number of staff lockers were broken into.
But one employee at the Shepcote Lane depot in Tinsley, whose mobile phone was stolen, believes too little is being done to protect workers’ belongings from thieves.
She claims that security should have been tighter in the first place, warnings ought to have been issued when lockers were first targeted, and bosses have attempted to ‘profit’ from the crime wave by selling padlocks at £5 apiece.
The employee, who has asked to remain anonymous, is also angry that the fashion giant is refusing to reimburse workers for the stolen items, insisting that employees’ personal belongings are their responsibility despite staff reportedly being told not to bring their mobile phones inside the workplace.
She said: “Over the last three weeks, more than 30 phones and other items have gone missing from lockers at the warehouse.
“I only found out when I reported the theft from my locker that they were already aware of other items being stolen. They should have warned staff as soon as they became aware.
“Now they’re taking advantage of the situation by selling padlocks for £5, even though I had a padlock on my locker and they still got in without touching the padlock as the lockers aren’t secure.
“I think their response has been really disrespectful to staff. They say they can’t reimburse us for the stolen items because we’re responsible for personal belongings, but the security’s not good enough and if you’re caught taking your mobile phone into the warehouse twice you could potentially be sacked.”
The employee said staff lockers had been moved outside at the start of the pandemic to prevent the spread of Covid, and there were initially social distancing wardens located near them but the thefts had happened since the wardens were removed.
A message sent to staff states: “Through CCTV, we have been able to identify an offender of the recent locker break-ins which unfortunately resulted in some employees having their belongings stolen.
“We have now increased the level of security around the areas, including additional CCTV and offenders reported to the police.
“Whilst the security has been increased, please ensure that your lockers are securely locked and if you can please only bring the minimum that you need to work.
“Employees are responsible for any personal belongings brought onto site.
“Padlocks are now available to buy for £5 in the staff shop and the canteen.”
A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said it was called to the warehouse on Saturday, June 5.
"It is reported that a number of employees’ lockers were forced open at the Pretty Little Thing warehouse and a bank card, mobile phone and earphones were taken.
“An investigation is underway and anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting reference: 14/86139/21.”
He added that the officer leading the investigation was not aware of other crimes at the warehouse in the last three weeks but these may not have been reported to police.
The Star has contacted Pretty Little Thing, which has yet to respond.