A 35-year-old woman from Ipswich has been charged with defrauding major supermarket chains with a devious and remarkably complicated shoplifting scam. 

Kylie Milner used home equipment to scan the barcodes on 65c instant noodle packets, print them, glue them to adhesive stickers, and then stick them over the barcodes of other items in the supermarket. She then scanned those items – which ranged from packets of meat and toilet paper to coffee machines and sheet sets – at the self-service checkouts. 

She successfully ran the scam at Coles and Woolworths supermarkets in Springfield, Booval, Collingwood Park, Brookwater and Goodna, defrauding the chains of more than $4,500 in total, and was only caught when store managers noticed her acting nervously at the checkouts. 

The Ipswich Magistrates Court heard that when police searched her home, they found glue sticks, copies of the instant noodle barcodes on her computer, and items with the fake barcodes still attached. 

Milner's defence argued that she was motivated "largely by need rather than greed," saying that she was a bankrupt mother who was struggling financially. 

After pleading guilty to 31 counts of fraud, three counts of attempted fraud and one count of possessing a drug-related utensil, Milner was sentenced to nine months in jail, suspended for three years, fined $150, and has been ordered to pay back a total of $3,615 to the supermarket giants. 

Makes your whole avocados-as-onions trick look a bit shabby, hey?

Image: Fox.