Come on now. Admit it. At least once, you’ve looked at the self checkout machine in the department store and thought, mischievously: I could just slip this one thing in my bag, without scanning it. After all, the evil corporation has it coming for replacing real customer service and killing local jobs with technology.
Some thieves have taken up the challenge. Like the Belleville Wal-Mart bandit who tried to shaft Sam Walton at the self-checkout machine. The bandit recycled a seasoned, low-tech scheme in a bid to beat the high-tech gadgetry.
Here’s how police in Belleville, Ontario, described it in a news release:
Belleville, Ont – On January 25th, 2009, at approximately 3 p.m., police were dispatched to Wal-Mart regarding an adult, male shoplifter. The investigation revealed a male within the store removed a UPC code sticker from a shoe box and place it on another shoe box. The suspect proceeded to the self checkout aisle, where he purchased the shoes for a lesser value than what the actual shoes were worth. The actual cost of the items purchased would have been $67.61, however, the sticker placed on that box was for $15.74. Therefore, this male had defrauded Wal-Mart for an amount of $51.87. A 26 year old Quinte West man was charged with Fraud Under and released with a March 2009 court date.
Police didn’t explain how they caught the sticker-switching shoe bandit, who was clearly aiming pretty low, at least compared to a TV-toting thief at a Wal-Mart in Louisiana. The man put a $4.88 price sticker on a 42″ flat screen TV, then hefted it onto the self-checkout scanner. Someone got suspicious.