Self-service cheats to become a thing of the past

I’m sorry, you guys, but the jig is up.

There will be no more stealing of steaks. No more pilfering of prosciutto, or burgling of bocconcini.

In the past, when you have shuffled through the self-service checkout at the supermarket and processed your higher-priced goods as if they’re cheap as chips – scanning avocado as bananas, for instance – you may not have thought you’re actually stealing.


You may consider your theft as being acceptable, because you’re still paying something for the item. And besides, doesn’t everyone do it?

Not anymore!

Sydney-based Tiliter Technology has launched a brand new technology that will stop self-service theft in its tracks. It’s so smart that it doesn’t even require barcodes to work; similar to Amazon’s new checkout-less store in Seattle, it will use camera technology to identify the products in your cart or trolley, before it automatically enters the details into the point-of-sale system.

You better be sure you want everything in your trolley before you reach the checkout, methinks!

Co-founder Chris Sampson tells that while the big benefit is for supermarkets, which won’t have to worry about so much produce slipping out the door unpaid, customers will also benefit “by not needing to search through menus trying to identify the items they are purchasing”.

“Our tech is different from some of the stuff we have seen struggle in the past because it can tell the difference between a red delicious and royal gala apple for example,” he adds.

There’s no confirmation on when these new advances will be tested, trialled or rolled out in stores, so for those who are so inclined, the five-finger discount remains within reach for now.

If you’re tempted down this dark path, however, be careful: it could cost you much, much more in the long run. Overseas, checkout thieves have been slugged with whopping fines and even jail time, over their nefarious scanning practices.

And that’s not even factoring in the contribution it makes to bad karma, or the damage it does to your soul along the way…