A foggy mystery: Coles shopper stumped over unusual anti-theft measure

One Coles shopper has been left perplexed after an unusual scene unfolded in their local store. Source: Getty Images.

A security mishap in one of Coles’ Melbourne stores has left one shopper perplexed leading them to post a photo of the unusual scene.

While browsing the aisles, the shop started to fill with fog leading the shopper to take a snap and post it to Reddit saying, “not sure exactly what happened”.

“I stopped by my local Coles to grab something for dinner on my way home around 10:20 pm last night. As I was walking to the checkout, I heard a loud pop and smoke gradually filling the store,” the customer wrote.

“There was no burning smell and everyone in the store was relatively calm, however the firm alarm did go off.

“The smoke eventually went away after 2-3 minutes.”

The shopper then asked, “Does anyone know what it may have been?”

Coles in Clayton Clayton last night
byu/OgzCheeseHead inmelbourne

While the shopper would be forgiven for thinking they had stumbled upon a Navy S.E.A.L training session, the reality was far simpler.

According to News.com.au, the bizarre scene was simply a newly installed security measure, that has been rolled out nationally, gone wrong.

A technical error occurred when an antitheft fog device, called a smoke cloak and designed to go off if there is a break-in after hours, went off.

The fog that is emitted is not harmful to humans and is designed to disorientate intruders, making it difficult to see and steal items of value.

The smoke cloak antitheft fog device is just one of the many interventions Coles has implemented recently to combat rising theft rates which are costing retailers a staggering $ 9 billion a year.

Overhead cameras, trolley locks, and smart gates have also been rolled out to address the expensive issue.

One radical new security measure left Coles shoppers outraged when the supermarket giant recently announced they would be trialling staff body cameras across 30 stores in Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

The company did not name the stores that will be participating in the trials but it is understood that these stores have been identified as “high risk” for theft and abuse of staff from customers.

The cameras will be affixed to staff uniforms and beam live footage back to upper management.

On social media, many were quick to note that the potential for invasion of privacy was dystopian in nature.

The move drew criticism from all corners with Dr Monique Mann, Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Deakin University and Vice-Chair of the Australian Privacy Foundation suggesting that in light of Coles and Woolworths recording massive profits perhaps they should think about finding ways to curb cost of living pressures instead of expanding surveillance and their profits.

According to a recent survey conducted by Finder, which garnered responses from 1,063 individuals, more than one in ten Australians, equivalent to a staggering 2.4 million people, admitted to resorting to theft in the past year as they approached a breaking point in their finances.

Coles reported that financial loss due to theft has increased by 20 per cent over the past financial year. In spite of this, however, they also managed to achieve $1.1 billion in profits.

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