Self-checkout seed thief slammed

Supermarkets report that customers cheating at the self-serve checkout is a regular occurrence.

Supermarkets report that customers cheating at the self-serve checkout is a regular occurrence.

A Nelson man pretended to purchase linseeds when he was instead buying poppy seeds and in total made off with 10kg of the goods from a local supermarket.  

Bevan Marks had entered New World Supermarket on Vanguard St and filled bags with poppy seeds from the bulk food section several times each month. At the self-checkout Marks had entered the product as linseeds, which are nearly $2 cheaper per kilo.

New World Vanguard St retail operations manager Venus Sood said Marks had stolen around 10kgs of poppy seeds in total from the supermarket. 

"He used to come and we would see him in the carpark at the same time in the morning and [get the poppy seeds]," she said. 

Sood said she then heard that poppy seeds could be used for recreational purposes by pouring water through them, creating a temporary high for the user. 

"So then we started taking it seriously and looked at him on the cameras," she said. 

After discovering that he was inputting the price of linseeds instead of poppy seeds at the self-checkouts Sood alerted the police and he was caught last month. 

Marks' actions prompted the judge to tell the man to leave New World alone. 

Earlier this year in a similar case a police officer was accused of stealing a few dollars worth of pick and mix at a Waikato supermarket. 

Constable Chris Hickie was alleged to have tried to pass off nougat as a cheaper pick and mix selection at the Matamata New World.

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Marks appeared in the Nelson District Court on Tuesday where he pleaded guilty to the charge of causing loss by deception.

District Court Judge Richard Russell sentenced the man to 40 hours community work and to pay a reparation sum of $50. 

Sood said people input the wrong products in the self-checkouts at the supermarket "once a day at least".

"They do get caught out, but not always straight away - if they do it two or three times a week they do get caught," she said.

 - Stuff

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