Tescos stealing from a customer

My son, aged 18, went to tescos. He bought some alcohol - fair enough. After the sale was completed, paid for and he had a receipt, whilst leaving the shop they took the bottle off him.

This is simply theft. It was his property at that point.

Their argument was that he was that his younger sister was about so they decided he was buying it for a minor. He wasn't, obviously. They can, if they wish, refuse to serve anyone for any reason. However, in this case they did serve him and the sale was completed.

So what they did was theft - pure and simple.

My son did not quite have the nerve to call 999 at the time, and they did give him his money back. Had it been me, I would have simply called the police. I think next time he may do so.

I think I may write to tescos and demand an explanation.


  1. Yeah right im still tempted to and report it now, i wish id refused the money back and just gone to the police the next morning or called them! GRR >:(

  2. My wife and I were doing a £70+ shopping trip in Sainsburys with one bottle of Rosé wine.
    The checkout assistant asked for my ID which I handed her.
    She then turned to me wife who was packing and asked for her ID, which she didn't have..
    They refused to give us the bottle (not yet scanned) because one of us couldn't show ID.

    Fine, my wife and I finished packing / paying. I walked back to the wine section, picked up the same bottle walked back to the checkout, went through "on my own" and showed my ID. Job done!

    Useless rules.

  3. Did he willingly hand it over or did they forcibly take it away from him?

    Did he agree to accept the money back?

    I'm with you on this one - if they tried that on me I'd kick up one hell of a stink.

    But then I don't shop in Tesco.

  4. The snatched the bag and tore it, from what I can tell!

  5. Sounds like a charge of common assault would stick if the approach was as aggressive as that.

  6. I never shop at Tesco on principle, but if this had happened to me I would have arrested the person who assaulted me and called the police!
    Remember, anyone can arrest someone they believe has committed an arrestable offence, as long as they then summon a constable.

  7. It's not quite that simple.. it's indictable offences not arrestable offences (leading to some ineteresing paradoxes like you can arrest for burglary but not trespassing.. so if someone gets into your house make sure they nick something first).

  8. Trespass is not (usually) a criminal offence anyway. I think you really need to know what you are doing before you arrest someone :-)

  9. yeah but whether you know what you are doing or not im pretty sure assault comes under an offense that anyone can arrest someone for?

  10. james: It certainly does!
    There was a great programme on television some time ago about a bloke who was exercising his right to walk on public footpaths. One went through a US base somewhere in East Anglia. The gate guard tried to stop him, and when he put his hand on his shoulder the bloke said: "That is assault, I'm arresting you!" :)

  11. Don't forget that one of the requirements for theft is dishonesty. If someone has made a genuine mistake about the law, I don't think you could say they were being dishonest, so a charge of theft would not work. (If you did manage to establish theft then the employee responsible would also be guilty of robbery. The force used in snatching the bag would be sufficient.)

    The offence of burglary is complete as soon as someone enters your house. Roughly speaking, burglary is trespass in a building with the intention of stealing or committing various other offences. As soon as someone walks in with that intention, the offence is committed, so I don't see any reason why he can't be arrested straight away.


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