The most stolen items in Spanish supermarkets

Supermarket thieves regional variations

Stock image of a store thief. Credit: Mike_shots/

For years, the most stolen product in Spain’s supermarkets has been alcohol, however, recent statistics have revealed a product that thieves are now targeting.

Who would have thought that olive oil would become a hot commodity for supermarket thieves? A recent study reveals a surprising shift in the items most frequently pilfered from Spanish supermarkets, including some interesting regional variations.

This change was highlighted by STC, a firm specializing in anti-theft systems, which compiled data from over 10,000 supermarkets across Spain.

The report, revealed a dramatic increase in the theft of olive oil, pushing it up to the second most stolen item nationwide. This trend is particularly strong in regions such as Andalucia, Aragon, Castilla-La Mancha, Catalonia, the Community of Madrid, the Valencian Community, Extremadura, and the Balearic Islands.

The top five most stolen items

Liquors continue to top the list of the most stolen items, but olive oil has now overtaken Iberian products, relegating them to third place. Following these are shaving products and wines, rounding out the top five.

The findings come from discussions with the Security Directors of the stores, confirming that 90 per cent of thefts are executed by repeat offenders and organised gangs. These criminals often steal to order, taking specific requests for products.

Regional variations in theft

The report also delves into the most stolen items by autonomous community, uncovering some unique preferences.

In the north of Spain, octopus is a popular target for thieves in Galicia and Asturias, while in Catalonia, cockles are among the top five stolen goods.

Coffee finds its way onto the list in several regions including the Valencian Community and Madrid, where chocolate also sees a high theft rate. Meanwhile, cheese remains a consistent favourite in areas like Castilla La Mancha and Andalucia.

Analysis and consumer reaction

According to the study the people who perpetrate these thefts range between 20 and 60 years old, surprisingly adding that hardly any robberies occur below or above that age .

Despite the relative ease of stealing smaller items, the report finds that thieves are not afraid to take larger items such as oil jugs and whole hams.

Interestingly, while recognised brands are generally targeted more frequently, olive oil is an exception, with no distinction made by thieves between brands. Basic items like bread and pasta, however, rarely make the list of stolen goods.

STC also explored the public’s reception of anti-theft measures, finding broad support for their use. Supermarkets believe that without these systems, theft rates would soar.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.


    • Juan

      09 March 2024 • 20:39

      Flavoursome, surely.

    Comments are closed.