Three fraudsters tried to steal hundreds of pounds worth of electronics from Asda by putting them through the self-service tills as bits of fruit and veg worth a couple of pence each.
Dandre Day, his girlfriend Courtney Tilley and accomplice Darren Tilley ended up legging it from the supermarket in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, when security staff were alerted to the ‘foolish’ scam on March 21.
Birmingham Magistrates’ Court was told their first attempt involved scanning a computer monitor priced at £149 as a 6p pear.
Later that day, they tried putting through a pair of DVDs as a couple of potatoes totalling 12p.
The brazen scammers also tried to pass off a digital set-top box as a pear, a keyboard as an onion, and a soundbar and set of headphones worth £120 as 20p limes.
They returned the following day to try and blag themselves a TV, soundbar and set-top box, but had to flee when the fraud was rumbled by security.
The trio were arrested after police issued CCTV stills of them captured by the cameras mounted on the self-service checkouts.
All three pleaded guilty to fraud. Darren Tilley, from Sheldon, was ordered to pay a £200 fine on top of £185 costs and a £34 victim surcharge.
Day and Coutney Tilley, both from Kingstanding, were handed reduced fines of £80 after the court heard they are on benefits, but must pay the same amount of costs and surcharge.
Fergal Bloomer, defending Ms Tilley, 19, said she pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and has now ‘lost her good character’.
He added: ‘She apologises for what happened and realises she got involved in something which started fairly simple.’
The solicitor offered similar mitigation on behalf of her partner Day, 20, saying: ‘Their life is now based around looking after their son. They are both in receipt of benefits.’
Alan Bryce, representing Mr Tilley, also 20, told the court his client had recently found a job which ‘may well provide a route out of this sort of offending’.
He added: ‘These were foolish offences almost bound to be caught.’
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at email@example.com
For more stories like this, check our news page.