Iran has suffered an increase in petty thefts in recent months, and reports from a single chain department store, Shahrvand, claim it has lost 6 billion rials worth of goods through theft, predominantly food items.

The Ghanoon website quoted Ghodratollah Goudarzi, the CEO of the department store chain that’s linked to Tehran’s municipal government, saying: “One percent of Shahrvand’s goods are removed without being registered, and for this reason, surveillance cameras and plainclothes supervision have been increased in the stores.”

He added that food makes up a high percentage of the stolen items. Goudarzi also reported that the stores make gross sales of 20 billion rials each day.

In December, the head of Iran’s Security Forces reported a 20-percent increase in theft, linking it to the unprecedented increase in the price of goods.

Following the intensification of international sanctions and the removal of government subsidies on food and energy by the Ahmadinejad administration, Iranians have been facing rapid inflation and prices that reportedly are rising by the day.