Loose onion scam man
It’s hard to imagine it’s possible to scam a supermarket self service machine without something going embarrassingly wrong. Most people can barely manage to scan a tin of beans before the red light goes on and a grumpy supervisor starts fiddling about and cursing the very ground you walk on.
But Nicholas Long, a 25 year old hockey player with debts up to his eyeballs, managed to trick a Sainsbury’s self service machine to read all his shopping as ‘Loose Onions’ and conned the supermarket out of £450. He used the scam 20 times in 3 months at the same branch of Sainsbury’s in central London.
‘It is a straight forward allegation that he went to Sainsbury’s and was seen scanning various items in at the self-service checkout.’ Said Prosecutor Denise Murrin. ‘All items were being scanned as loose onions, but the store does not sell loose onions. It was an inexpensive way of doing his shopping.’
Angus Mathieson, who was defending Long, said he was in debt after his father’s building firm collapsed, and explained: ‘It was a stupid thing he has done. He was not getting a stupid amount, not substituting champagne or anything like that, but just getting an avocado and claiming it was an onion.’
I can’t help feeling a begrudging admiration for him. He’s beaten the system and turned avocados into onions! He's like JESUS. However, Long won't be able to show us how to do his underhand scam- he'll be doing 180 hours community service instead.