Pound-pinching trolley thieves are back in Romford Tesco

Tesco Trolleys have been targeted. Picture: PA

Tesco Trolleys have been targeted. Picture: PA - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Pound-pinching thieves are back on the prowl in supermarkets, stealing coins from under the noses of shoppers.

Reports of a mini crime have been made to Tesco’s Gallows Corner store, which also had a spate of the thefts in January.

After losing two £1 coins in one week, one customer, who asked not to be named, contacted Tesco headquarters to complain.

She explained: “I was very annoyed. I was going to complain at customer services but I overheard a lady in front of me doing that and they told her there was nothing the store could do. I went home and e-mailed Tesco.

“I told them I couldn’t afford to pay a £1 tax every time I shopped, and if it happened again, I would limit my shopping trips to what I could carry, which would dramatically reduce my spending.”

The store responded by sending the woman a £2 voucher for her troubles.

Pound coins are needed in many supermarkets to release trolleys from parks and are used to encourage shoppers to return them.

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It is thought thieves have been using sawn-off trolley-release keys to carry out their crime.

Others have taken to social media site Streetlife in the last week to highlight the issue in other supermarkets.

User JAF wrote: “The pound coin thieves are at it again. My wife had a coin taken from her trolley as she was walking round Sainsbury’s in Hornchurch.

“You wouldn’t think it worth their while would you?”

Another, Roy F, said: “We lost a pound from a trolley at Tesco Rainham but assumed it was a faulty coin mechanism as otherwise you need to push the release bar in to get pound out.”

To prevent your pound coin being stolen, trolley keys can be purchased to be used in place of £1 coins.