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Shoplifting charge from supermarket, please comment with advice, thank you.


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Hi there readers, just wanted to start this with a plea; please do not judge me by what you are about to read. I am fully aware of how it sounds, plus after reading other's threads, I too have jumped to conclusions.

 

My background is that I am a full time student, this normally means 'poor' or 'desperate for food', however, unlucky for me yet good for my finances, I was left with considerable inheritance. I am 22 years old and consider myself to be well brought up and a well dressed, middle class girl. (sorry if that sounds ridiculous, just want you to know the facts)

 

I am writing this to ask for advice, I would be extremely grateful for any information you could bring to my attention. I'l try to ignore the negativity and judgement.

 

It begins with me being in a large local supermarket, eg Tesco/ Sainsburys, where I have done all my shopping for the last two years of uni. My bill normally comes in at around £40, £8 of which is spent on bottled water. This time, I was shopping with a friend, sharing a trolly, they were to use my self service check out after me. However, they went of to find an item they had forgotten whilst I was scanning through my shopping. I paid for my items yet still saw no return of my friend. I was holding my receipt and checking for error as it was lower than I expected (obviously a good thing but I wanted to be sure). Whilst doing this task along with slowly moving my trolly out of other customer's way, I was phoning my friend. During this 1/ 2 minutes, I had moved around 100 yards, approaching the exit, I intended to put my shopping into the car and help my friend with her shopping. I was still multi tasking at this point, looking at my receipt, just as I crossed the exit, I noticed why my bill was low, my water hadn't scanned. It's water and this is England, not exactly crime of the century simply not bothering about it, yet I done the decent thing and turn back to the store.

 

As I made this moral decision, a man in dark uniform asked me to follow him, I mentioned I was going in to sort out my receipt. Then as we walked in, a worker exclaimed, "ahh you've finally got her". To be honest, I thought i'd walked into another person's horror story. When in the back room of the store, the extremely nasty security guard started accusing me of crimes I was unaware of. Apparently my Method of action, or system, (something that sounds like a plan) was that I leave my water in the trolly on purpose. I don't know if they realise you are suppose to and then peel off the tag to scan, that is the way the water company have designed it to be, to be convenient for customers.

 

 

For at least two years, I have been shopping here weekly, regularly purchasing this water. That means I have bought about £832 worth of this product from them!! (8x104) Except the last two shopping occasions I have 'stolen' this item from them. Water, I apparently stole water?!

 

Yes I totally agree, shoplifting is wrong, just, give people a chance before jumping down their throats and ruining their lives. Maybe let someone explain! This isn't a third world country, I have no reason to steal water.

 

 

On from that, this is the part in which I feel the judgement beginning to brew, as even I know it looks extremely dishonest. When they checked my items, re scanning them all, there were a number of items that I had not scanned correctly. However, this was a God's honest mistake. I had forgotten to scan through my butter, blueberries and some bacon. Not exactly champagne or a weapon, something one may do purposely. I had scanned through all my other shopping, these items had just been caught up under my bags and crates of water (not an act I'd do purposely as squashed butter and blueberries aren't sought after.) My friend had also left a couple of items in there which there was no way of me seeing.

 

I had scanned through my items, using a self service machine I believed to be in working order. Yet when I come to see my receipt, things had been scanned through as items I had not purchased. Eg, cranberry juices, I had none of these in my trolly! There was obviously issues with the till. Can I please ask if there is a way I can prove the fault?

 

I did not have the intent to enter the store and remove their goods without paying. Any advice you can offer me with this situation would be grate, please refrain from calling me a thief, I already feel extremely scared and stupid. My future is the most important part of my life, my career will be saving millions of lives through medical research. A criminal record could disrupt my career path and future medical profession.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

 

Kind regards, from a very worried girl.x

Sorry for making this soo long!

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Hi there readers, just wanted to start this with a plea; please do not judge me by what you are about to read. I am fully aware of how it sounds, plus after reading other's threads, I too have jumped to conclusions.

 

My background is that I am a full time student, this normally means 'poor' or 'desperate for food', however, unlucky for me yet good for my finances, I was left with considerable inheritance. I am 22 years old and consider myself to be well brought up and a well dressed, middle class girl. (sorry if that sounds ridiculous, just want you to know the facts)

 

I am writing this to ask for advice, I would be extremely grateful for any information you could bring to my attention. I'l try to ignore the negativity and judgement.

 

It begins with me being in a large local supermarket, eg Tesco/ Sainsburys, where I have done all my shopping for the last two years of uni. My bill normally comes in at around £40, £8 of which is spent on bottled water. This time, I was shopping with a friend, sharing a trolly, they were to use my self service check out after me. However, they went of to find an item they had forgotten whilst I was scanning through my shopping. I paid for my items yet still saw no return of my friend. I was holding my receipt and checking for error as it was lower than I expected (obviously a good thing but I wanted to be sure). Whilst doing this task along with slowly moving my trolly out of other customer's way, I was phoning my friend. During this 1/ 2 minutes, I had moved around 100 yards, approaching the exit, I intended to put my shopping into the car and help my friend with her shopping. I was still multi tasking at this point, looking at my receipt, just as I crossed the exit, I noticed why my bill was low, my water hadn't scanned. It's water and this is England, not exactly crime of the century simply not bothering about it, yet I done the decent thing and turn back to the store.

 

As I made this moral decision, a man in dark uniform asked me to follow him, I mentioned I was going in to sort out my receipt. Then as we walked in, a worker exclaimed, "ahh you've finally got her". To be honest, I thought i'd walked into another person's horror story. When in the back room of the store, the extremely nasty security guard started accusing me of crimes I was unaware of. Apparently my Method of action, or system, (something that sounds like a plan) was that I leave my water in the trolly on purpose. I don't know if they realise you are suppose to and then peel off the tag to scan, that is the way the water company have designed it to be, to be convenient for customers.

 

 

For at least two years, I have been shopping here weekly, regularly purchasing this water. That means I have bought about £832 worth of this product from them!! (8x104) Except the last two shopping occasions I have 'stolen' this item from them. Water, I apparently stole water?!

 

Yes I totally agree, shoplifting is wrong, just, give people a chance before jumping down their throats and ruining their lives. Maybe let someone explain! This isn't a third world country, I have no reason to steal water.

 

 

On from that, this is the part in which I feel the judgement beginning to brew, as even I know it looks extremely dishonest. When they checked my items, re scanning them all, there were a number of items that I had not scanned correctly. However, this was a God's honest mistake. I had forgotten to scan through my butter, blueberries and some bacon. Not exactly champagne or a weapon, something one may do purposely. I had scanned through all my other shopping, these items had just been caught up under my bags and crates of water (not an act I'd do purposely as squashed butter and blueberries aren't sought after.) My friend had also left a couple of items in there which there was no way of me seeing.

 

I had scanned through my items, using a self service machine I believed to be in working order. Yet when I come to see my receipt, things had been scanned through as items I had not purchased. Eg, cranberry juices, I had none of these in my trolly! There was obviously issues with the till. Can I please ask if there is a way I can prove the fault?

 

I did not have the intent to enter the store and remove their goods without paying. Any advice you can offer me with this situation would be grate, please refrain from calling me a thief, I already feel extremely scared and stupid. My future is the most important part of my life, my career will be saving millions of lives through medical research. A criminal record could disrupt my career path and future medical profession.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

 

Kind regards, from a very worried girl.x

Sorry for making this soo long!

 

Were the police called?

If so were you given a Penalty Notice for Disorder (PND / fixed penalty 'fine')?

If the police were called & you weren't given a PND, were you arrested by the police?

 

As for : "my career will be saving millions of lives through medical research" : 'youthful enthusiasm' or 'lacks insight'?

How many medical researchers can you name who have provably "saved millions"?

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You take a a lawyer's help dear. They will better help you out of this mess.

 

Hello SillyOne.

 

I don't think you're at the stage of needing a lawyer. Maybe you could let us know the answer to Bazza's question please? The guys should be along later.

 

My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hello SillyOne.

 

I don't think you're at the stage of needing a lawyer. Maybe you could let us know the answer to Bazza's question please? The guys should be along later.

 

My best, HB

 

Agreed, HB : they MIGHT need a lawyer, but might not.

If they answer my queries about the police, CAG'ers will have a better idea of if they are facing a record of the incident on the Police National Computer (PNC), which in turn impacts on if they'll likely need a lawyer.

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Hi all, thank you for your replies. Really appreciate people trying to help.

 

To answer your questions; when I was in the back room, a police officer was called straight away without me saying anything or being given a chance.

 

When the officer arrived, he did try to reason with the security guard and say it was all just a misunderstanding, however, the security seemed to have a vendetta against me. He began to list many other actions of theft I had 'committed', although I hadn't even been in the country at some of the times, making it clear to me that this man was not going to accept any apology. He took the police officer to another room and showed him CCTV footage. The officer, who was surprising kind, told the security that some of the 'video evidence' was absurd and obviously not me. You can imagine how grateful I was for some support at this time.

 

Two of recordings, matched up with the use of my loyalty card. The computer stated that no water had been paid for on two occasions when the cctv showed that it was amongst my shopping. This is part of my regular shopping, just a stupid mistake I had made and would of definitely paid for. As I have said before, I've spent hundreds of pounds on this relatively cheap product in the past. However, that is not how the law works, I understand that. That is why, when I noticed there was no water on my receipt, I went back to pay for it.

 

Sorry for this being such a long account, I am not good at summarising!

 

When arrested and taken into a cell, I agreed to a solicitor as I knew I had landed into a complete mess. After 23 and a 1/2 hours in the cell, I was finally able to speak to my solicitor. Who was very annoyed as he had been free to speak to me all day, they had just tried to keep us apart. I do not know where the officer who arrested me had gone, he was no longer involved, a new kid was on the case that did not want to make the process simple.

 

After relaying what had happened to my appointed solicitor, he said I would be able to get a caution as it was not a serious crime at all and they should realise it was just a mistake. I thought about seeing if my friend would say about what she had left in the trolly so I would not be blamed for that, however, I did not want to drag her name into any kind of mess. At this point, I wish we didn't trolly share!!

 

Whilst being interviewed, I stated that on two of the occasions, it was me in the cctv. I had left the store without paying, however I stated that this was not through the act of theft, it was a misunderstanding and not something I would ever do. I did not want to state I had been dishonest as I had not purposely done this. This is something I came to regret..

 

Apparently if I had admitted guilt, I would of got off with a caution. Wish my rubbish solicitor had told me that. Although it was a mistake, I would of much rather said I had intently done it, just to be out of that situation. They had taken my fingerprints, however, a caution would not of caused disruption to my future. I have a court date for next week. They seemed to just ignore what I said about the self service machine. These are always breaking and it was clear, from not only the cctv but from the fact it was impossible to of 'stolen' items after scanning them through, that the machine had mixed products. There were items on my receipt I had not even selected nor put into my trolly. Surely, as a solicitor, you would focus on this part. When asking for advice, my solicitor said that was not how it worked. Apparently I have to come to a decision myself, all he does is represent me. I'm the type of person who listens to all advice so was shocked by this as I felt I needed his knowledge and degree in law!

 

If you any of you lovely helpful people have any advice, I would greatly welcome it.

 

Thank you.x

 

 

p.s. 'BazzaS' sorry I had not stated all the details, hope what I have replied with makes the situation clearer. As for the medical research, it is in neurodegenerative disease research, something that within the next decade will become an epidemic. Research into Alzheimer's disease is currently making breakthroughs and all researchers are needed. This is something I am passionate about, why I have chosen to continue in education. Hopefully my utter stupidity on the listed occasions will not affect my future in this field of research :(

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A formal caution involves an admission of guilt, and leaves you with the same record for CRB/DBS purposes as a conviction, so I'm not sure "a caution would not of caused disruption to my future" is correct advice, even if you have been told this.

 

While you may wish to make the point that the self-service machine can make errors, in the end the court will look at if you took the water and had not paid (which appears not in contention) but then the key issue "was there intent to permanently deprive "

 

It may be against you if there is CCTV of a prior episode.

You say you had decided to go back and pay this time round when you realised : were you actually headed back when stopped and might there be CCTV to demonstrate that?

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Although you mention that stealing water isn't the theft of the century it is still theft?

 

If it's an honest mistake then don't beat yourself up about it. One thing that i find strange is that you said you took a trolley through the self checkout? I don't mean to be negative but the trolleys aren't that deep and if you had a lot of items then surely you would've gone through the normal checkout?

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sorry but you have made the mistake of not paying on at least two other occasions? once ok but anymore is becoming a habit you would be extra vigilent if you had made a mistake once to avoid doing it again,

If I have been of any help, please click on my star and let me know, thank you.

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Some of the supermarkets now have conveyor self service checkouts. Don't know if you still get those awful voice messages i.e "Unexpected item" etc so you can use trollies at them. If it was the older style, did you not get the "Unexpected" bit when you scanned the items and put them on the scales/bagging area ,or did you say you were using your own bags? Either way you need to be more vigilant as assisted blonde says.

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From a legal point of view although of the machine wasnt working properly it showed items that i didnt actually have etc etc there is no getting away from the fact that you actually had unscaned items in your trolly and you had made no attempt to scan them, whether you knew they were there or not.

If I have been of any help, please click on my star and let me know, thank you.

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