In recent years, there have been more and more reports of self-checkout theft at establishments like Walmart and Kroger.
Because of how commonplace it has become, retail executives have created new slang, such as the “banana trick.”
However, dozens of Amazon stores have “Just Walk Out” technology, which eliminates the need for customers to scan for items before leaving, potentially lowering in-store theft.
The technology, according to the bosses, “eliminates the checkout” because there are no lines for customers to wait in.
Customers must use Amazon One to check in at stores where Just Walk Out has been installed.
With Amazon One, customers can use their palms to pay or enter a store.
As an alternative, they can use their debit card or an app to enter the store.
The items that customers take from the shelves are subject to a fee.
The items that customers take from the shelves can be monitored by high-resolution cameras.
These devices, they said, are sensitive enough to reliably and accurately detect even the smallest products, as well as those that are taken or returned but are invisible to cameras.
According to Amazon, more than a dozen independent retailers have embraced Just Walk Out technology to give customers a “frictionless” experience.
In the meantime, those who use self-checkout have turned to strategies like the “banana trick” in an effort to save money.
It alludes to customers who scan an expensive product with a code for a less expensive item.
The term “pass around” refers to when customers fail to scan a grocery item.
Others have turned to “switcheroos,” or consumers who remove the sticker from a cheap product and then place it over the price label of a more expensive item.
Customers have turned to the tactic in a last-ditch effort to cut costs on their groceries.
However, caught shoplifters run the risk of going to jail.
According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, Chasity Shirley, 34, was facing up to 10 years in prison after switching the barcodes on a toothbrush holder and a child’s rug and slipover at a Walmart store in Kentucky.
A charge of “unlawful access to a computer” resulted in her conviction.
According to state law, typical shoplifting offenses for items worth less than $500 only result in a $250 fine and up to 90 days in jail.
Prosecutors and Walmart, however, had argued that Shirley was unauthorized accessing the store’s computer system when she switched barcodes at the self-checkout.
Unauthorized access to a computer is a Class C felony that carries a five- to ten-year prison sentence.
However, Shirley and other Walmart customers are allowed to use the self-checkout when they are inside the store, according to the Court of Appeals.
The Kentucky Supreme Court decided last week that Shirley shouldn’t be charged with a felony or receive such a lengthy sentence.
And the conviction was deemed “inherently unfair” by the Kentucky Court of Appeals, which ruled unanimously.
Shirley could now obtain a directed verdict that would result in the conviction being overturned.
Numerous customers have told harrowing stories of being falsely accused of stealing items when using the self-checkout.
More than 60 customers were detained between January 2021 and March 2022 at a Walmart in Tucson after they forgot to scan some items.
According to Shadd Maruna, a professor of criminality at Queens University in Belfast, some shoppers may find it simpler to steal from machines than from people.
The majority of us feel ashamed when we are caught by another person trying to steal something, she said, according to the Courier-Journal.
The process appears less shameful by replacing the human eyes with technological ones.
Christopher Andrews, an assistant professor of sociology at Drew University in New Jersey, thinks that the fact that self-checkout machines eliminate jobs at the register gives consumers a certain justification for stealing.