Counting Crime is a Herald series looking at where and when offending is happening in the community - and who the victims are. Each day we will look at a different category of crime and examine the numbers, meet the people affected the most and reveal the times, days and places you are more likely to fall victim. Today, we share your stories.

"It's us little guys that nobody talks about," says Royal Heights Pharmacy manager Sandy Kaur.

In April her pharmacy, in the West Auckland suburb of Massey, was hit by thieves four times.

"It's just really frustrating because you know they're doing it.

"They're just walking out the door, you know it's happened, but you can't do anything about it.


"You can trespass them, that's the only real tool that we have."

Kaur made reports to police for four separate incidences of shoplifting in April, with product losses at more than $1000.

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"One of the offenders actually sent in a daughter to distract me. They came in separately, but I kind of realised they were working together," she said.

"I kind of just ignored the daughter who was asking clinical questions."

She said in one case a thief even visited the pharmacy to fill in a prescription.

In another incident, she said a shoplifter threatened to run her over as she attempted to get a photo of the offender's car.

Kaur said the thieves, who at times work in pairs, do not target medicines but perfume, soaps and creams.

"This sort of stuff? There's no reason for it, it's just greed."

The pharmacy has spent thousands of dollars on upgrades to its security, including modern cameras and security tags, because staff were spending too much time on security rather than the day-to-day running of the business.

"I'm considering having to have another staff member on, especially on weekends.

"But the amount I'd pay that staff member ... I'm not getting that amount stolen, so is it really worth it?" Kaur said.

And because of rising insurance premiums and a $500 excess, claiming product losses of less than $300 was not worth it.

The pharmacy is open six days a week and Kaur said shoplifters have usually targeted the pharmacy about midday when staff members where on a lunch break.

"I wish I could do more to stop them, like block the door or tackle them, but, as a 42kg female, I instead ask them to return the product in their bag to the shelf."