Sadly, it’s not unusual to hear stories about cashiers who scan coupons when no one is looking, and pocket the cash. Ultimately, many of them are tripped up when management notices the store is accepting stacks of coupons for products that they don’t seem to be selling that many of.

So you’ve got to hand it to a Wisconsin grocery cashier, for being much more clever in carrying out his alleged coupon scam.

As first reported by the Barron News-Shield, 31-year-old Andrew Mills of Cameron, Wisconsin was a cashier at a Marketplace Foods store in nearby Rice Lake, when management called police late last month. They reported seeing him on security video, scanning coupons and putting cash in his pocket.

As it turns out, over a period of eight months, police say nearly $3,000 ended up in that pocket.

Mills is accused of having a pretty good system, that required him to become something of a coupon clipper himself. According to court documents, he told police he would clip coupons from the Sunday newspaper inserts, save them – and wait. When someone purchased an item without using a coupon, and Mills knew he had a coupon for that item, he’d allegedly scan the coupon after the customer departed, and keep the cash for himself.


So the store would make a sale, get reimbursed for the coupon, and the customers who paid full price and allowed Mills to pocket their missed discounts, were none the wiser.

And it might have been foolproof, if it weren’t for those darn security cameras. Cashiers typically don’t scan coupons after their customers have left, after all.

According to the court records, Mills told police he had a gambling problem, and used his ill-gotten cash to buy scratch-off lottery tickets. He apparently wasn’t winning enough, though, since the amounts he allegedly took increased month after month, to the point that he’s accused of pocketing $620 in December alone.

Mills was arrested last week (on his birthday, no less) and charged with felony theft. He’s due to make his initial court appearance next week.

Being hauled off to jail on the day he turned 31 is probably not the birthday gift he had in mind. For his 32nd, maybe someone should get him a book about how to coupon. Legally.

Image source: Marketplace Foods

One Comment

  1. I recently had a coupon that didn’t show up on the cashier’s screen. I inquired and told it would show up later. I didn’t check my receipt before leaving and later when I did think to do it, I saw I didn’t receive credit for that coupon. Is there some way the cashier could pocket the money after my transaction was complete (as reported in this story)?

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