Supermarkets have been spotted placing security tags on baby formula amid the cost of living crisis.
Stores such as Lidl, Sainsbury's and Tesco have adopted the measure amid reports that ‘desperate’ customers have been trying to steal everyday items as prices soar.
Onestaff member told The Guardian: “We used to get shoplifters stealing high-value things to sell on, which is not uncommon. Now it’s people stealing everyday things, doing their weekly shop and trying to walk out without paying.
"Baby milk has never been security tagged but now it is, so people can’t steal it. It was something that never would happen before but people are quite desperate.”
She added: “There is a lot going [missing] through self-service: people not scanning everything is more prevalent than it was. There are definitely a number of things that never had security tags before but have got them now."
Jane also told the publication that some items have supposedly even been removed from shelves and replaced by cards stamped with item names to retrieve from secure areas, although it's not uncommon for supermarkets to tag higher-value items with security protection.
Over summer, it was reported that other supermarkets had also placed security tags on basic items as the cost of living crisis forced people to turn to theft.
In July, MailOnline reported that the likes of butter, cheese and meat cuts had also been fitted with security tags and Sainsbury's had started tagging baby milk.
In October, a woman took to Twitter to ask supermarket chain Lidl why it had also started tagging baby milk, writing: “Quick question - why is it you security tag the baby milk in your stores but not any other food items?”
Lidl replied: “We're sorry for any upset caused. This has been known to our stores for being a high theft item so this was put in place to prevent this. - Lauren.”
Tyla has approached Tesco, Sainsbury's and Lidl for comment.
It’s been widely reported in recent months that families are being forced to choose between heating their home or eating as the cost of living crisis continues to bite.
Back in August, Ofgem confirmed an 80 percent rise in the price cap from 1 October, which sent the average household's yearly bill from £1,971 to up to £3,549.
For one Gloucestershire family, that meant choosing between paying for food or electricity.
Rebecca Bryant, 31, who shares seven-year-old Lilly with her boyfriend John Wynn, 45, explained at the time: “We are already struggling to manage. We still have to manage until 7 September with no money and I still have to pay out for electricity as I am on pay as you go.
"I also need to buy food and a school uniform for my daughter this week as well. I might have to choose between going food shopping and putting more electric on.
"I'm finding it harder and harder every month with the increasing of everything going up. We have been thinking of getting rid of our family car so it can save us money too.
"It's getting harder for us to live off freezer food as my partner has just been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and gallstones so we have to be really careful with what we eat, but I do try to do batch cooking."
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