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Dudley fraudster banned from Asda after stealing £4k of goods in self-checkout scam avoids jail

Dudley fraudster banned from Asda after stealing £4k of goods in self-checkout scam avoids jail

A fraudster who stole £4,001 worth of goods in a self-scanning scam at ASDA supermarkets has been ordered to pay back every penny but avoid being sent to jail.

Kenneth Hollis, 43, would select carrier bags at checkout, hit the payment option without scanning his groceries first, then just pack the items and leave.

Initially, he carried out the first theft by accident, but when he realized he “got away with it,” he fraudulently went to various shops for four months while bailiffs chased him for debts.

But an ASDA analyst broke his plan, ultimately leading to his arrest.

Kenneth Hollis (pictured outside Birmingham Magistrates' Court), 43, has been given a suspended sentence and ordered to repay the £4,001 worth of items he scanned as carrier bags

Kenneth Hollis (pictured outside Birmingham Magistrates’ Court), 43, has been given a suspended sentence and ordered to repay the £4,001 worth of items he scanned as carrier bags

The fraudster has been ordered not to enter ASDA after his self-scanning fraud

The fraudster has been ordered not to enter ASDA after his self-scanning fraud

Between October last year and January this year, Hollis stole £322 worth of goods from a Dudley store, £1,186 worth of items from a branch in Birmingham, £893 worth of produce from the Tipton supermarket, £795 worth from Oldbury and £805 of goods from the Halesowen branch.

At a previous hearing, Hollis, of Vicarage Prospect, Dudley, admitted five charges of fraud by false representation and a violation of driving without insurance.

Yesterday, Tuesday, April 12, he was sentenced in Birmingham Magistrates’ Court to 26 weeks in prison with a two-year suspension.

He was also told to pay ASDA £4,001 in compensation, complete a ‘thinking skills’ program and attend 30 days of rehabilitation.

Prosecutor Neelam Shafiq said: “The fraud took place over four months. It was noticed by an analyst from ASDA’s intelligence center who discovered discrepancies at a number of ASDA stores.

“Mr. Hollis would have committed this one. He has entered the stores as a customer, selects items from the stores, places them in the trolley and goes to the self-scan checkout.

Hollis has now been banned from every ASDA in the UK after his thefts from five shops (Photo: Tipton ASDA, where he stole £893 worth of products from)

Hollis has now been banned from every ASDA in the UK after his thefts from five shops (Photo: Tipton ASDA, where he stole £893 worth of products from)

He selected the bags from the till, scanned those bags and then clicked ‘finish and pay’, dodging the scales. He continued to pack the items without scanning them and then left the stores.”

Sam Christopher, defensively, said, ‘Why did he do it? He bought groceries at ASDA. Initially, he first scanned the bags and pressed pay to complete the transaction.

“He should have told the store but didn’t and realized he could get away with fraud. He was having a hard time.

“He was paying off debts. He was in arrears with his rent and bailiffs were involved. He solved that. He went around the local ASDAs and got away with it. It is to his credit that it has come to light that he has done everything right.

He held up his hands during the interview. He pleaded guilty.’

Mr Christopher added that Hollis had been ‘scammed’ on Facebook into thinking he had paid to insure his car, but he wasn’t.

Judge of the verdict District Judge David Murray said: ‘It’s a serious fraud over a number of months. You have used a motor vehicle that was uninsured at least once.

The court was told the crime was “sophisticated and sustained.”

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