Court case puts bread basket theft into focus
Investigators in the West Midlands found a haul of nearly 200 stolen bread baskets and 310 sets of wheeled dollies waiting to be illegally recycled into plastic chips.
That’s according to reports of a court case in the UK earlier this month which put the need for bakeries to keep track of their equipment into extra-sharp focus.
The thieves in question had already recycled over 7,5000 stolen baskets to sell the resulting plastic chips for cash.
The fraud prevention squad from the baskets’ owners, Bakers Basco, worked with police on the case in which the defendant was ordered to pay over £47,000 in legal costs and expenses, as well damages for the stolen gear.
Bakers Basco was set up by big British operators Allied Bakeries, Fine Lady Bakeries, Frank Roberts Sons, Hovis, and Warburtons to manage their combined five million or so bread baskets in 2006. In recent years, the company has commissioned GPS trackers to be built into its baskets.
It would seem that the offenders in question either didn’t know about these trackers or they simply didn’t care. What’s more, at least some of the baskets may have been constructed using plastic that features a distinctive glitter designed to put off rogue recyclers.
Hats off to Bakers Basco for this result. But what about all the bakeries that don’t have the benefit of a specialist bread-basket crime-busting squad or surveillance technology? In short, do you know where your bread baskets are?
To answer this question for our users, we added basket tracking to Cybake’s delivery management functions back in 2020.
The way it works is that your delivery drivers record the number of baskets they deliver and collect each time on the Cybake app on their cell/mobile phones. At the same time, the invoices issued by Cybake to your customers clearly state how many of your baskets they hold.
If you wish, you can also assign a value to your baskets on your invoices, so your customers know what it may cost should they go missing or get broken. Plus, back at head office, Cybake gives you a clear, central overview of where all your bread baskets should be at any one time.
Independent bakeries can be the hardest hit by the problem of disappearing baskets as they make multiple drop-offs every day. This is compounded because in order to replace a couple of missing baskets, bakeries are often obliged to make costly bulk orders for many more.
This is not an issue that is confined to the UK. In the United States, it costs bakeries over $10 million a year to replace stolen bread crates, according to the American Bakers Association.
So, if you are a Cybake user and you want to activate basket tracking, or you want to find out more about our bakery management software and how it can keep track of your equipment, please get in touch.
Top image credit: Bakers Basco