You would think that Asda would have noticed that almost £460,000 had gone missing from a single supermarket - but, alas, obviously not as staff member Wendy Clements lived the life of Riley from it, stealing nearly half a million pounds over the years.
Asda only cottoned on when someone reported that employee Wendy Clements had stacks of cash lying round her house in Middlesbrough - unusual for someone who worked in a supermarket.
Asda began to suspect that its employees were stealing from the supermarket and investigated three of Wendy's colleagues, who were suspended from work and their houses searched top to bottom for the missing money.
One of them commented: "Being arrested for theft will be forever imprinted on my memory."
Meanwhile, Wendy kept schtum and didn't confess to save her colleagues' skins. She went on sick leave and refused to attend meetings. But someone mentioned that Wendy had a lot of cash lying around her house - she wasn't even being discreet about thieving. At that point the police became involved and the huge amount of money involved came to light.
She had stolen a whopping £459,925 from Asda.
Wendy had been fiddling the accounts in the cash office for four years. She was ferreting away around £115,000 a year.
And for years, no one even noticed.
At her trial, the prosecution said that Clements had discovered that the electronic records on the petrol tills were not linked to the 'smart record' that she submitted to Asda's head office.
Wendy Clements. Credit: Evening Gazette
Wendy falsified the records and slipped the money into her pockets.
Prosecuting, Ian West stated: "Over the period, she took over £450,000 in cash. The system of recording cash takings has changed since.
"The matter came to light as a result of a call from someone who had been to her house and seen large amounts of cash just lying around.
"They thought it was unusual for someone working in modest employment."
That's not even the most amazing part of the story. What did Wendy do with all that cash?
She simply blew it all away. She spent every single penny, splashing her cash on flashy holidays, cosmetic surgery for her friends, and expensive meals.
Anyway, Wendy has been put behind bars for three years and four months - ironically, she's doing less time for her thieving than she spent stealing!
£460k - that's Asda price!
Words Laura Hamilton
Featured Image Credit: Evening Gazette