A supermarket was able to present a shoplifter with an exact bill for $1053.42 worth of groceries because she used the store's self-service checkout to clock up the items she stole.
Tracey King, 40, entered Napier's Pak 'n Save on January 7 and filled up a trolley. She clocked up the items at the supermarket's self-service checkout but then pushed the trolley out without paying.
She was caught because she went back to the store four days later and tried the same trick, this time with $907.82 worth of groceries.
Security staff recognised her and were able to apprehend her and retrieve the groceries.
She told police she had stolen the items as she did not have money to buy food.
King appeared in the Napier District Court yesterday and pleaded guilty to two charges of shoplifting.
When her lawyer, Philip Jensen, said he could not understand why the supermarket was seeking reparation of $1053 when the stolen items had not been recovered, police prosecutor Chris Flood informed him that King had used the self-service checkout to tally up the items.
Judge Tony Adeane told King she had several previous convictions for shoplifting "and one of these days you'll get caught and sent to jail".
She was sentenced to 100 hours of community work and was ordered to pay the shop reparation of $1054 at $20 a week.
A Foodstuffs spokeswoman said it had processes in place to minimise theft at self-service checkouts.
Staff also managed the self-service checkouts to assist customers with problems and kept an eye out for unusual behaviour.
- © Fairfax NZ News