Trusted Tesco employee stole more than £5,000 from store
A TESCO team leader stole more than £5,000 in cash from tills at the company's Eastgate superstore.
Elaine Rogers, 56, of Gill Avenue in Oldbury Court, pocketed wedges of notes over the course of a month in the supermarket's counting room.
But she was finally caught by security guards after staff raised the alarm over the missing cash.
Pleading guilty at Bristol Magistrates' Court on Friday, it was heard Rogers had taken the cash after a divorce left her in financial trouble.
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She was ordered to return the money and carry out unpaid work in the community.
Prosecuting, May Li said Rogers had been working at the store as a team leader at the time of the thefts.
She had been there for five years and it was her responsibility to empty the tills of notes at regular intervals and organise the cash into "pods" in the counting room, the court heard. But during the process, which included preparing tills for the next shift, she grabbed unknown quantities of notes to be taken home with her.
Ms Li said: "The service manager at this store was made aware that there was money missing from those pods and told store security staff on January 29 who monitored Ms Rogers at the store.
"During the evening they stopped her when she left and found a quantity of money in her bag."
Police were called and Rogers was arrested. Her home was searched and further cash was recovered.
In police interview Ms Li said Rogers initially denied taking the money.
She said: "Police then asked her if she had any debt. She said yes, then admitted she took small amounts.
"She told police over the course of a couple of months she had taken about £3,000."
The actual figure turned out to be £5,829.79, stolen between December 30, 2012 and January 30, 2013.
When asked about CCTV in the office, Rogers said she would turn her back to one camera while avoiding another by emptying the pods of cash low down.
Ms Li said: "She would take a bundle of notes at a time and would not know how much she took until later."
On one occasion Rogers herself reported cash missing.
Defending Rogers, Graham Arnall stressed it was the first offence for Rogers, who had since lost her job and was now on benefits.
He added: "She had recently divorced, saddling her with a large amount of debt. Those financial problems tempted her in to stealing the money."
The court heard that around £3,000 had already been recovered.
Presiding magistrate Colin Skeen ordered Rogers to pay back the remaining £2,829.79 and sentenced her to 80 hours of unpaid work.
He said: "As I'm sure you understand now, this was a very serious matter. You were in a position of responsibility as a team leader and you clearly breached the trust of your employer."