Woman warned her supermarket self-checkout ‘trick' is breaking the law
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A woman from South Australia has been slammed for her self-checkout 'trick', which is against the law.
Whether it's buying less, shopping at a cheaper supermarket, or going for Danpak instead of Lurpak, everyone is doing what they can to make ends meet.
Writing into news.com.au's Sisters In Law column - where questions are answered by a couple of legal experts who are also sisters - a woman named Kayla has revealed how her mate is doing 'self-check-out fraud'.
Kayla said her friend 'regularly puts through more expensive veg - such as avocados - as brown onions' through the self-checkout.
"She says it’s not stealing as you’re still paying for something and that the supermarkets work the cost of 'self-check-out fraud' into their prices. She also claims everyone does it!" Kayla wrote.
"I’m sure it’s stealing but she won’t listen to me.
"What are the laws around lying on a supermarket self-checkout machine and could she be imprisoned?"
Resident lawyers and real-life sisters Alison and Jillian Barrett, from Maurice Blackburn, responded to the question by saying 'it doesn’t matter how your friend tries to justify her behaviour'.
They claim that her friend's 'dishonest behaviour unfortunately affects us all by pushing up grocery prices'.
"Your friend’s technique of using the self-service checkout to pass off more expensive items as cheaper ones cheats the system by underpaying," the lawyers wrote.
"Her fraudulent behaviour is just one of many tricks employed by self-service thieves to avoid payment."
They warned: "Undercover security officers are employed by the big supermarkets to work with police on these issues.
"If they believe a theft has occurred, security officers and store staff have the right to search your friend’s bags to check the goods and the prices paid.
"An excuse like getting avocados confused with brown onions is likely not going to cut it.
"Your friend has the right to refuse a search, but the grocery store can call the police if they suspect she has been dishonest.
"In South Australia, shoplifting - including the underpayment of goods - is a form of larceny (theft).
"Minor incidences of shoplifting (involving goods valued at less than $150) are dealt with by the police rather than the courts.
"As long as the supermarket consents, the police will issue an on-the-spot shop theft infringement notice.
"This involves a requirement to pay the full value of the goods your friend stole (or underpaid), as well as apologise to the store."
I know it's tough out there, but breaking the law by not paying for your food isn't really good for anyone.