‘Robin Hood’ vigilantes ‘steal from Marks and Spencer to give to food banks’

He is best known for stealing cash from the Sheriff of Nottingham and the rich folk of Sherwood Forest, but now it seems Robin Hood has turned his hand to pinching food from the shelves of posh supermarkets to give to the poor.

Robin Hoods and their merrymen from the campaign group Everybody Eats which calls for direct action on food poverty in the UK posted pictures on social media while bragging about stealing from the M&S Foodhall in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester last weekend.

And it has warned this is just the first raid adding the group would “keep replicating this all across the country” until the government answered its demands on food security.

Shoplifting reached its highest level in two decades last year as the cost of living soared, with figures from the Office for National Statistics released in January showing more than 402,000 offences were recorded in the year to September 2023.

According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), theft cost retailers almost £1.8 billion in 2022-23, up from £953 million the previous year.

In social media posts, the group claimed that food banks were aware of where the food had come from and said it had asked their members for help.

Taking to Twitter, the group posted a photo of six activists holding the stolen goods including Percy Pig sweets and bananas.

The group’s post read: “Today we took food from an M&S in Manchester without paying for it. This food will now be distributed straight to people in the community as well as local food banks.

“We did this because the government and the corporations are doing next to nothing for food security.

“So we are doing this both to convince them to change that and to do our best to fill the gap until they do. We will keep replicating this all across the country until we no longer have to. We cannot sit by as we and our friends, our families, our neighbours starve.”

A video posted on Instagram also showed activists walking gleefully into the M&S before leaving with bags of olive oil, bread, cereal, oat milk and other foodstuffs.

Despite one of the group being seen holding up a bag of Percy Pig sweets in social media posts, Charlie Peterson, an activist who advises Everybody Eats, told the Telegraph only essential items were taken, such as simple foods, baby formula and sanitary products and handed out on the street as well as being given to local food banks.

He told the paper: “It’s not a case of being above the law. It is illegal. That is superseded by a desire to actually do some good and put some food on their tables.”

Greater Manchester Police confirmed to the Telegraph that a shoplifting incident was reported at 1.40pm on Sunday, April 14, at a shop in the area.

The force is still investigating and urged has anyone with information to contact officers.

Express.co.uk has contacted Greater Manchester Police and M&S for comment.

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