Sydney Student Rumbled In Court After Scanning Groceries Worth $28.95 As Bananas

A 24-year-old Sydney student has been pinged in court after pleading guilty to some self-checkout chicanery.

His crime? Fraud, for the offence of scanning cashews, pistachios, and salmon as lowly bananas.

AAP reports Stefan Toth was chosen for a random bag check at Sydney’s World Square Coles in January this year.

Downing Centre Local Court yesterday heard that security staff found discrepancies between his receipt and the items in his bag.

Despite Toth offering to pony up the difference, the items were seized by staff and police were called to the scene.

Police didn’t buy his explanation that he simply mis-scanned those items, pointing to the other items on his docket which were purchased without a hitch.

Toth pleaded guilty yesterday, said he was sorry for the incident, and told the court he was intoxicated at the time of the transaction.

That reportedly resulted in a rebuke from Magistrate Jacqueline Trad, who told Toth “You weren’t that drunk” if he could suss which items were most expensive.

Toth was given a year-long conditional release order without any conviction against his name.

All of that for $28.95 in fancy fish and nuts.

It’s hardly the first time someone has fallen afoul of self-serve checkouts, mind you.

In 2018, a German businessman was slugged the equivalent of $326K for swiping $73.50 of meat as much, much cheaper fruit.

Figuring out how to stop punters from nicking groceries through self-checkout systems is a considerable topic of study, too, with Queensland researchers devoting quite a bit of time to the issue in 2017.

I can’t say any more about self-checkouts and automation in a way which wouldn’t incur Roko’s Basilisk, so I’ll leave you with this: Fraud. Not ideal.