Nuts! Pistachio gang targets Lidl supermarkets in eastern Netherlands

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A gang of Romanian thieves is patrolling the east of the Netherlands stealing bags of pistachio nuts from supermarkets, the AD said on Tuesday. In Deventer, two men and two women were arrested on suspicion of shoplifting to order, including pistachio nuts, early last week. In Steenwijk two other men were picked up after 59 bags of Lidl pistachio nuts were found in their car, the paper said. Since the arrests, the police have had 13 more reports about stolen nuts. Police spokesman Ed Kraszewski told the AD that the thieves appear to be coordinating their action. ‘But it could be that next week they are after something different, like electric toothbrush mounts,’ he said. ‘It depends on the demand.’
Lidl supermarkets in particular have been targeted by the gang and over half the reports come from the east of the country. Three years ago Lidl supermarkets in Germany had to deal with pistachio thieves and last year two men were found guilty of stealing €900,000 worth of the nuts from Belgian branches of the Lidl chain, the paper said. The Dutch retail association Detailhandel Nederland says organised gangs steal goods worth some €200m from supermarkets every year. Razor blades, baby milk powder and toothpaste are also popular with shoplifting gangs, the organisation says.

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