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Expert reveals one common supermarket habit that is considered ‘illegal’

Rhiannon Ingle

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Expert reveals one common supermarket habit that is considered ‘illegal’

Featured Image Credit: Oscar Wong/Craig Hastings/Getty Images

There's one thing I'm sure many of us have been doing since childhood when it comes to the food shop that is actually against the law.

But now, one expert has revealed one common supermarket habit that is considered 'illegal' and shoppers are beyond shocked.

Criminal law specialist, Rachel Adamson, opened up all about the technically criminal act.

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Whether it was your mum cracking open a carton of juice for you as a kid while she perused the shelves or whether you, well into adulthood, started pecking on a bag of crisps from a multipack while you pick up some bits for dinner - it seems like a load of us are no stranger to snacking when we shop.

However, apparently, doing so is actually illegal with Rachel explaining: "While you might have the honest intention to pay for a chocolate bar that you’ve eaten while shopping in a supermarket, it is still technically illegal under section six of the Theft Act 1968.

"Buying a product at the till is what transfers the ownership from the product belonging to the shopkeeper to it belonging to you."

The law expert added: "And only when that sale is complete do you have the legal right to consume or use it.

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"If you eat the chocolate before you legally own it, you are permanently depriving the owner of his right to the product – he can no longer refuse you the sale or take the item off the shelves."

Apparently, it's illegal to snack while you shop... Credit: StockPlanets / Getty Images
Apparently, it's illegal to snack while you shop... Credit: StockPlanets / Getty Images

Section six states: "A person appropriating property belonging to another without meaning the other permanently to lose the thing itself is nevertheless to be regarded as having the intention of permanently depriving the other of it if his intention is to treat the thing as his own to dispose of regardless of the other’s rights; and a borrowing or lending of it may amount to so treating it if, but only if, the borrowing or lending is for a period and in circumstances making it equivalent to an outright taking or disposal."

It continues: "Without prejudice to the generality of subsection above, where a person, having possession or control (lawfully or not) of property belonging to another, parts with the property under a condition as to its return which he may not be able to perform, this (if done for purposes of his own and without the other’s authority) amounts to treating the property as his own to dispose of regardless of the other’s rights."

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Shoppers were shocked by the news. Credit: Adene Sanchez / Getty Images
Shoppers were shocked by the news. Credit: Adene Sanchez / Getty Images

This was news to me and, clearly, it was news to other people with the Liverpool Echo reports that one parent revealed: "Listen if my child is screaming for a cooked chicken leg or cocktail sausage… whilst shopping…. I’m breaking the law!!"

"I ate a full chicken once and left the bones in the crisp aisle nothing like a good free lunch," admitted a second shopper.

A third chimed in: "Done a crate of ale in walking round still scanned it and paid gave the security guard a tip."

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"Got to eat the chicken wings while they're hot," penned another while a fifth echoed: "My two-year-old needs locking up then. I can’t get blueberries without him eating the entire pack before the checkout. I still pay for them haha.

A final shopper added: "My two-year-old son is going to jail then for eating a milky bar before it’s paid for."

Topics: Shopping, News, UK News, Life, Crime, Food and Drink

Rhiannon Ingle
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