Theft in Rotorua has dropped over the past year but one dairy owner still has to take extra precautions against shoplifters.

In the year ending July, theft in Rotorua dropped 8.6 per cent, from 3494 to 3194 recorded offences.

Kevin Yo, owner of Cosmos Superette on Fenton St, took over the business from his dad but said theft had always been an issue.

"My father used to have to lock things, a long time ago.

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"I've only had to start locking it recently."

Yo had to place a lock on the ice-cream freezer earlier this year to prevent people from taking them and walking out of the store.

"They've also been taking chocolates and items from the shelves," Yo said.

He also set up a number of security cameras around the store.

Yo reports each incident to police and said he had provided them with footage of the shoplifters.

"These people are so casual, they just walk away with things.

"I race across to the police station, but there's always so many people, by the time I'm done they have already walked away."

Yo said he was lucky to have a lot of really good customers that was ruined by "just a few".

"A lot of my customers actually come from the police station.

"It's getting a little bit stressful to deal with."