'Asda treated me like a criminal over Pringles': Supermarket sorry for east Hull shoplifting error
A SUPERMARKET has apologised after wrongly accusing a customer of shoplifting and banning him from every store in the country.
Saulius Jance, 28, was mortified when he was marched into the security office at Asda Mount Pleasant in east Hull after being accused of stealing two tubes of Pringles.
He was told he had been caught on CCTV the previous week taking five tubes but only paying for three.
Mr Jance was told to sign a disclaimer admitting to the theft. When he refused, he was banned from every Asda store in the country.
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When he asked to see the CCTV evidence, the security guard refused, citing the Data Protection Act as the reason.
Mr Jance, of east Hull, said: "I explained to the security guard I only took three, which I had paid for.
"I only needed three because, if you bought three, there was an offer on and you could get some free speakers.
"He really was not very nice with me and demanded I sign a form saying I had stolen. I was treated like a criminal. He did not listen to what I had to say.
"I live very close to Asda and use it every week. I obviously don't want to be banned for something I've not done."
Mr Jance, a Polish national, said he was frustrated at not being able to prove his innocence, and so, not knowing what to do next, he visited the Hull branch of the Citizens' Advice Bureau.
Together, they drafted a letter to Asda, protesting his innocence and asking for the ban to be overturned.
The letter was hand-delivered, yet more than a week passed and Mr Jance still had not had a response from the store.
When the Mail contacted Asda on Mr Jance's behalf, staff were adamant he was a shoplifter.
A spokesman told the Mail the store would be passing the CCTV evidence to the police for them to investigate.
Staff also told the Mail four security officers had reviewed the CCTV and all reported the same thing.
Mr Jance believed he would become the subject of a criminal investigation and hoped to prove his innocence.
However, later that day, Asda retracted their statement and admitted they had made a mistake.
Having reviewed the CCTV evidence, staff realised there was actually an error on the self-scan machine Mr Jance had used to pay for his goods.
The spokeswoman said: "Although instances of shoplifting in our stores are very few, we have to take them seriously.
"Unfortunately, on this occasion, we have made a mistake and we are sincerely sorry for the upset caused to Mr Jance."
Since being contacted by the Mail, Asda has written to apologise to Mr Jance.