How one UK's biggest shoplifters got away with defrauding stores
How did one of Britain’s biggest shoplifters get away with it for so long? Mother who made £500,000 from shops including Boots, TX Maxx and John Lewis had simply taken items off the shelves and asked for refunds
- Narinder Kaur ‘took items off store shelves and then up to the till for refunds’
- She repeated the pattern of faking purchases and refunds hundreds of times
One of Britain’s most prolific ‘industrial’ shoplifters made over £500,000 by tricking stores into handing over refunds for items she never purchased.
CCTV footage showed how Narinder Kaur, also known as Nina Tiara, would simply take items off store shelves and carry them to the till to initiate a return.
The 53-year-old, believed to be mother-of-one, repeated the pattern of faking purchases and refunds on hundreds of occasions at various stores across the UK including Boots, TK Maxx, HomeSense, John Lewis and more.
Kaur, of Wiltshire, had ‘made it her full-time career’ to pinch items from high street shops for four years before she was caught and tried at Gloucester Crown Court.
She has been convicted of all 26 counts on an indictment which included fraud, possessing and transferring criminal property and perverting the course of justice.
Narinder Kaur, also known as Nina Tiara, ‘shoplifted on an industrial scale’ across the country and made over £500,000 by tricking stores into handing over refunds for items she never purchased
CCTV footage showed how Kaur would simply take items off store shelves and carry them to the till to initiate a return
Kaur defrauded the various retailers over a thousand times between July 2015 and February 2019, the prosecution has proved.
Close examination of her bank and various credit card accounts, showed that she had visited and defrauded a string of shops more than 1,000 times during her four-year plot.
She was recorded on CCTV entering stores, removing items from shelves and taking them to the till and pretending she had bought them previously.
Kaur, who lives in a house thought to be owned by another family member, received more than half a million pounds in refunds from the stores, the trial heard.
She also tried defraud Wiltshire Council by using stolen credit cards to pay for services before asking the council for refunds. She would claim she had accidentally made a payment ‘with too many zeros’.
Her scam even included a male accomplice who helped her use stolen bank card details to make payments to her own heating oil supplier.
The trial was told Kaur lied to the court and produced a fake document to dodge being convicted of speeding offences and relax bail conditions.
About £150,000 in cash was found hidden in her home, along with stolen goods, when police scoured it for evidence.
The CPS was able to prove the case using financial data, retail records, witness evidence and CCTV footage.
Kaur, who lives in a house (pictured) in Wiltshire thought to be owned by another family member, received more than half a million pounds in refunds from the stores. About £150,000 in cash was found hidden in her home, along with stolen goods, when police scoured it for evidence
The 53-year-old ‘made it her full-time career’ to pinch items from high street shops
An investigation found that Kaur carried out her scheme atBoots stores across the UK – including in Dudley, Smethwick, Droitwich and Kidderminster. She received £60,787.09 in refunds from Boots despite only spending £5,172.73 at its stores.
The convict was handed £42,853.65 in refunds from Debenhams despite spending only £3,681.33.
She also defrauded John Lewis, visiting stores in Milton Keynes, Watford, Chester, Cardiff, Chichester, Basingstoke, Nottingham, Newbury, Exeter, Southampton, Reading, Birmingham, Tamworth, and Leicester. The defendant received £33,131.61 in refunds but only spent £5,290.36.
John Lewis, in comment to MailOnline, explained that its stores have a ‘wide range’ of measures in place to ‘deter and catch’ shoplifters and fraudsters. These practices also aim at protecting partners and customers.
The court heard how Kaur visited also Monsoon stores – including in Telford and Shrewsbury – and claimed £23,000 more in refunds than in payments made for purchases.
She went on to target House of Fraser stores, spending £2,853.55 but claiming £23,147.75 in refunds. The Birmingham store was one of a number which she visited.
Fraudster Kaur defrauded Homesense stores in Stafford, Shrewsbury, Cannock, Solihull and Worcester, among others. There she spent just £1,181.45 but claimed £19,540.17 in refunds.
TK Maxx was defrauded of £14,563.53, while she cheated Homebase out of £3,238.47, the CPS said.
She targeted Homebase between August 2015 and February 2019 and defrauded the company of £3,238.47.
Kaur’s offending also saw her defraud Wiltshire Council of £7,400.
MailOnline has approached the retailers and Wiltshire Council for comment.
TK Maxx was defrauded of £14,563.53 in the scheme (Pictured: Kaur in one of their shops)
Kaur, was convicted by jurors of a total of 26 counts including fraud, possessing and transferring criminal property and perverting the course of justice.
Her conviction was issued on March 10 following a four-month trial at Gloucester Crown Court.
Now the fraudster faces jail time for her scheme and has been remanded in custody ahead of sentencing.
The offences took place between July 2015 and February 2019. Prosecutors said Kaur had a number of bank and credit card accounts.
Giovanni D’Alessandro, Senior Crown Prosecutor at CPS West Midlands, said: ‘Kaur undertook fraud on a long-standing and wide-ranging manner.
‘It was a very lucrative full-time job which demonstrably made her over half a million pounds over this period of offending.
‘She went to extraordinary lengths to carry out her deceptions, seeking to find a way of defrauding a retailer and then travelling all over the country to replicate the fraud.
‘She also changed her name legally and opened new bank accounts and credit cards in a second identity to avoid detection.
‘She now rightly faces a significant sentence for her crimes and the prosecution will look to recoup as many of her ill-gotten gains as the law allows.’
Source: Read Full Article