You wouldn’t steal clothing, or even a loaf of bread. So why put your kilo worth of cherries as oranges? Coles self- serve checkouts are due to get a major overhaul.


Have you ever slipped through an extra avocado or put through your more expensive fruit as a cheaper alternative? Well this is soon to be over, NSW police and supermarkets warn.

NSW Coles retailers are starting a crackdown on petty theft, with the retailer saying it’s sick of customers who lie about what’s in their basket to get a discount or who try and avoid paying for some of their altogether.


Detective superintendent Murray Chapman spoke to reporters outside of Coles Zetland, on Thursday saying, “No matter how small you think it is, even if it’s the avocado and you’re saving $2, it’s still shoplifting.”

Coles says it’s caught roughly 11,000 customers stealing goods at its self-serve check-outs across Australia over the past year. With a spokesperson for the retailer saying “There has been a normalisation of theft at self-serve checkouts over the last few years.”

Det Supt Chapman said he couldn’t go into the specifics of the crackdown but warned potential thieves wouldn’t go unnoticed.

“You won’t see the loss prevention officers visibly in a lot of centres and you won’t see police,” he said.

“But when we run these operations we’re out there and we work collectively to identify and charge people.”

For many years retailers have invested heavily on a wide range of CCTV Technologies, signage, changes to store design, and the use of security guards, however this hasn’t deterred some shoppers.

Coles and Woolworths have both stated that more self-serve attendants will be present, and they will be watching you scan and weight products. By having more visible workers in the self-service vicinity may make, petty thieves think twice about their actions.

So is a $3 saving more important than getting questioned by police?

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