Blog: Dean BestCaught in the act

Dean Best | 13 November 2008

Earlier this week, the British Retail Consortium warned that retailers could face an increase in shoplifting as the credit crunch bites.

"We have expressed the fear that the downturn will lead to an increase in theft levels," a spokesperson told just-food.

Today (13 November), your reporter almost became part of the supposed crime wave that is preparing to sweep the UK.

During a quick top-up shop at my local Sainsbury’s, I let my son – who is approaching the terrible twos and has a propensity to tantrum when hungry – snack on a sandwich while I collected milk, taco shells and the like.

I threw the empty sandwich wrapper into the trolley as I grabbed my groceries and promptly forgot about it.

As I was going through the checkout line, a security guard approached me.

“I think you ‘forgot’ this,” she said in the smug tones of someone who knows their euphemism is definitely not hiding the thinly-veiled accusation that they have caught you red-handed.

She reached down and picked up the wrapper, which had lodged itself between my reusable bags and the side of the cart. 

Rosey-faced and breathless, I replied: “Oh sorry, thank you,” trying to convey that this was not a premeditated act of burglary with my breeziness.

I am now convinced that all the extra pounds the BRC says retailers are investing in security are directed squarely at me. ‘Wanted’ posters probably hang in the back of the store and security personnel will shadow my every move, if I have the nerve to show my face there again. 

I considered “grassing up” my son, but I have a feeling the buck stops with mum. And all over a GBP2.80 (US$4.09) sandwich.

Katy Humphries, Deputy Editor


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