Supermarket Cashier Steals Over $200,000, Spends It On The Shopping Channel
A veteran employee at Asda, a Walmart subsidiary in Great Britain, had a neat trick: She would artificially inflate the value of customer's vouchers -- sometimes even double them -- and pocket the difference. When police finally raided her home, they found almost 80,000 pounds in vouchers (the equivalent of $126,000), over 6,600 pounds ($10,000) in cash, and "an Aladdin's cave" of unopened goods bought on shopping channel sprees.
Sandra Norris, 58, worked at Asda for 20 years, emptying the cash register, and punching in the totals into the store's computer system. After the store noticed discrepancies in her account keeping, police searched her home, and the over $130,000 worth of vouchers and cash, along with piles of the kinds of stuff one would likely buy on a shopping network or Sky Mall: perfume, jewelry, clothing and liquor.
In October, Norris admitted to one charge of theft of 700 pounds and one charge of abusing her position of trust.
"It is always particularly sad to see a woman, particularly of your age and who has never been in trouble before, come to court on such a serious charge," said Judge Peter Henry when he announced her 28-month jail sentence, as reported by the Southern Daily Echo. "You had a position of responsibility. Quite why you did it is difficult to understand."
Norris returned to court for a confiscation hearing, after the judge discovered that while Norris had stolen a total over $200,000, her realizable assets were just over 10 percent of that: $23,000, including the trinkets she purchased from TV. The judge ordered her to pay back that amount.
A commenter on the story in the Daily Echo, claiming to be a former co-worker, said that she was "completely shocked" by the news. "Unfortunately, she seems have got involved with something that she couldn't stop ... and this became an addiction."
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Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.
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