A man who helped himself to a packet of cigarettes from a Picton store on Beach Road has been charged with shoplifting.
Parklands Marina Holiday Park co-owner Selma Lassueur said the man, who had been staying in the area for the past three weeks, strolled into the store about 8.30am today and helped himself to a packet of cigarettes after her husband refused to give him credit.
"He said, 'I'm just going to help myself mate', and he walked behind the counter, took a packet of cigarettes and left.
"My husband told him if he took them he would call the police and he did.
"He just wanted his morning smoke, I think."
Mrs Lasseur said her husband did not try to stop the man because it was not worth risking physical injury over one packet of cigarettes.
Constable Matt Cotching, of Picton, said the man, who was known to police, was arrested shortly afterward and charged with shoplifting.
Picton Superette reported a similar incident about two weeks ago involving a man who walked out of the shop with a packet of cigarettes and a morning paper after his eftpos card declined.
The store manager said the man took the packet off the counter, told the attendant the card had not declined, and picked up a paper on his way out.
Mr Cotching said he was unaware of the earlier incident and could not comment on whether they were related.
- The Marlborough Express