26/04/2012 09:45 BST

Third Of Brits Steal From Self-Service Supermarket Checkouts

The self-service checkouts were designed to speed up lengthy queues – but supermarkets have unwittingly created a generation of self-service shoplifters.

A recent study of nearly 5,000 people by revealed that a third of Brits steal food items by slipping them into their bag without passing the food through the scanner.

Other indiscretions reported in the study ranged from opportunistic to brazen.

Just over 2% admitted to tampering with the scales when paying for something by weight, 7% bagged an item without scanning it first and 5% claimed to have simply walked away from the checkout without paying.

Although the machine is able to detect an ‘unexpected item in bagging area’ when the food has not been scanned, shop assistant tend to swiftly override the ‘error’ allowing the self-service cheat to sneak off with their purchases.

And if they’re not pinching the food items, they are shaving pennies off the price by ‘tricking’ the machine into thinking they are purchasing lower cost goods or selecting ‘small’ instead of ‘large’ when scanning items such as salad boxes.

Have you ever stolen from a self-service checkout?

Celebrity shoplifters