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Shoplifting from Tesco

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  • Shoplifting from Tesco

    Hello guys. I am really embarrassed to admit this but today I was caught shoplifting form Tesco. I'm fully aware I've done something very wrong, and I'm not trying to make any excuses but I'm going through a rough patch, which again, it doesn't excuse me from my behaviour.

    I bought some items worth £45 but I stupidly hid some other stuff in my bag. After paying and trying to leave I was stopped by the security guard who asked if he could talk to me in the back room. He asked if I knew why he stopped me and I admitted what I did. He said he saw me on CCTV, then went through my receipt and my bag and found the hidden stuff (all of them food items worth £30, which he kept).

    He asked for my name and my ID which I was unable to produce because, aside from my passport stored at home, I don't have any form of ID. He then asked for my address, but I could only to give him the number and street, no postcode because I honestly don't know it, as I've only lived there for a short period and it's not even my place.

    He said the store manager would have to come and then call the police to sort my identity. He asked if I have a criminal record (which I don't), took a picture of me and told me it will be circulated to all the Tescos in the area, so I am banned from them. While we were waiting for the manager he pressed for more information about my ID and address and I had to come clean: I am an immigrant whose situation is "complicated", Iím stuck in this country and I don't have an official address because for the last couple of years I've been staying at different places with friends. I can't get a job or claim benefits, and the only reason I've resorted to shoplifting is because I'm trying to put away what little money I sometimes make to buy a ticket to go back to my country.

    After I told him this, he just repeated the thing about my picture and the ban. He told me to pick up the things I paid for and then I was let go.

    Now, I am somewhat relieved the police wasn't called, but I'm also worried about two things:

    1) The £45 shopping I actually did was for my friends (the owners of the place I'm staying at). Although it was paid with cash they gave me, I scanned their clubcard as I always do when they ask me to buy stuff for them... I know I didnít give the full address to the security guy, but he can easily pull it from the clubcard info. I've read people in my situation receive a letter from DWF with a demand for payment, he didnít mention anything about it but I think I might receive it because I gave him my name. Would it be addressed to me or to my friends?

    2) Next time my friends go shopping and scan their card, will it trigger any sort of warning? I am mortified about this, I haven't told them what happened because I am afraid they won't want someone like me staying at their place and I have nowhere else to go right now. But if it's going to cause any problems next time they go shopping I'm going to have to tell them the truth beforehand.

    Sorry for the long post. I am extremely embarrassed, and I know I acted like an idiot. I don't have anyone to talk to about this, so any advice will be deeply appreciated.
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  • #2
    Hey xxx

    I really don't know whether Tesco cross reference addresses for their DWF collection or Ban list with payment/receipt/clubcard details used - it would seem to be a sensible thing to do but I don't know if their systems are set up to flag warnings on clubcards - if you are safe with the friends whose card you used when buying their shopping then I think you have to tell them, because it could be quite mortifying if they were doing their weekly shop and get flagged by security when they check out, and the reaction to that is likely to be less forgiving than their having advance warning that it could happen. The letters from DWF are likely to arrive at that address in any event ( it's easy to obtain the postal code from number and street ) so you're likely to have to explain that at some point anyway.

    Hopefully if you are honest with them about your 'moment of madness' things will turn out better than if they find out through receiving a letter from DWF or being publicly embarrassed at the shop.

    Don't shoplift again if you want to get yourself into a position where you can go home because you have chosen to.

    Have you investigated if you can get help dealing with your situation? You might be able to get help with returning home if that's what you want -- https://www.gov.uk/return-home-voluntarily -- also check https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/immigration/living-in-the-uk-illegally/your-options-if-youre-in-the-uk-illegally/ ( as you've only said 'complicated' I might be making an assumption there but check out the Citizens Advice link as it gives other options and help as well )
    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

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    • #3
      Thank you for taking the time to reply, Amethyst.
      I am so ashamed and stressed about all this that it's been very difficult to think clearly. But you're right, I need to tell them what happened before things get worse. It's hard because I know they have strong opinions about theft (rightly so!) and they've always known me as a decent person who's never done anything like this before, and well, it will definitely be the last time.

      As for my situation you assumed correctly. I've checked the link you shared, but the problem is that it's not just me who wants to leave. Long story short: the year I married my husband, a UK citizen, a new financial requirement was introduced for marriage visas and we were never able to meet it. On top of that he lost his job and had a mental breakdown as he suffers from PTSD and anxiety. He ended losing his flat as well and has been on temporary accommodation, living in hostels for almost 2 years. That's why I live with friends, because I was told I'm not entitled to any accommodation with him. We resolved to move to my country as soon as we can, where I can actually get a good job and take care of him. But I don't want to leave him behind by himself, he gets counselling but sometimes I feel his mental health is deteriorating.

      Anyway, I was also wondering if it's likely that the DWF letters will put my friends in any kind of debt or legal trouble? I'm dreading the moment when I'íll have to talk to them, but at least I want to let them know what I have gotten them into.
      Thanks again.


      • #4
        The DWF letters cannot put anyone in trouble, not even you. The only reason to tell your friend is if Tesco take some action on the Tesco card.


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