Police warn about theft by finding

Police are reminding shoppers that taking cash which is left in a self service checkout is a crime.

Officers in Blyth have received a number of reports where people have taken money from a self service checkout that has been left by a previous customer.

Police said the offence – theft by finding – is a crime and people could find themselves with a criminal record if caught.

Blyth Neighbourhood Inspector Dave Simpson said: “There have been a number of incidents where a customer has left cash at a self service checkout which has then been taken by another customer.

“In most of these instances the customer who has taken the money is not a thief and would not dream of stealing, instead they’ve seen an opportunity too good to refuse without being aware that what they’re doing is actually a criminal offence.

“Unfortunately, those who are caught will be dealt with and we are seeing honest people of good character end up with a criminal record because they’ve made a bad decision.

“The impact this can have is massive on offenders’ futures including employment prospects.”

“The right thing to do is to hand the cash in, the wrong thing to do is to steal the money and face prosecution and humiliation,” added Insp Simpson.