The young father believes he was targeted because of the tattoos on his hands…

A 24-year-old UK man has shared his story with Metro Newspaper saying he was wrongly accused of shoplifting by staff from supermarket chain Waitrose. Dominic Riches says he was stopped by two employees after leaving the store with his son and told that they had captured CCTV footage of him stealing.

Looking For An Excuse

Dominic says that he was surprised when the employees approached him. “I left the shop and got to the bit near the traffic lights not that far from the shop and two employees came after me,” he said. “They ran right up behind me and shouted ‘stop there!'” Dominic said he immediately stopped, despite being taken aback, and was shocked when the staff told him that they had captured incriminating CCTV footage. “I went back in with them because I hadn’t taken anything,” he said. “When we went back in, that’s what they found too.” Dominic believes that the store discriminated against him because of his tattoos and says that they have handled the situation poorly ever since.

Too Little, Too Late

Dominic approached store management to make a formal complaint and was offered a bottle of champagne as compensation before being told that the employees had just been doing their job. After expressing his dissatisfaction with the way the situation was handled, Waitrose offered him fifty pounds to spend in the store, but again refused to acknowledge that the staff had acted out of order. In a statement, the supermarket giant eventually confirmed that  Dominic had been treated unfairly. “Everyone is welcome at Waitrose and we sincerely apologise for any distress caused to Mr Riches. It was a genuine error by members of staff and shouldn’t have happened.”

While we can only hope that the accusation was an innocent mistake, and not because of the tattoos, incidents like these are an important reminder to never judge a book by its cover.

Do you think tattoos change the way people are perceived? Let us know in the comments.


  • That would of been a bit embarrassing. It’s weird they said they saw footage??

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  • I do believe that people have preconceived ideas of the type of people that have tattoos – I honestly don’t like tattoos, especially on women, but I don’t judge them because of it. In this case, I would hope that this man wasn’t accused because of his tattoos and that it was a genuine mistake … however, I don’t think Waitrose responded in the right way or quickly enough …….

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  • Yes, I think tattoos on people changes others opinions of you. Especially those that have numerous tattoos and tattoos on faces. It’s undoubtedly not right to pass judgement, but people with tattoos are scarey

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  • I think I would be checking out if I could sue the store because of their attitude – not for me but for anyone else who is in their store with tattoos.

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  • The fact they said they had footage of him stealing which was bull dust and they found that out does suggest the staff were not doing there job but discriminating against this man.

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  • Some shop assistants can be quite aggressive without genuine excuse. Back in the days when employees were paid by cash I know a lady who was requested to have her handbag checked. That she didn’t object to….until the checkout girl made her open the very small pocket in it that contained her bank book with cash in it. She explained to the girl what was in it and could have felt it but that wasn’t good enough. There was quite a few other customers in the shop and that made her feel even more vulnerable. If it had been me I would have demanded the Manager be present and the check be done in a more secure private area. This was about 40 – 45 years ago.

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  • oh dear, never judge a person by its cover…ive always said that to my daughter when it comes to books too!
    I get judged for being dumb just because im deaf. once I explain they apologise and realise im only doing my job. people judge quick these days even on the internet.

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  • My husband was accused of shoplift baby food, which had been scanned by the checkout operator and handed back so he could sit on the bench and feed the baby whilst I paid for the groceries, because he is brown! After I paid and joined my husband they were very apologetic towards ME (a white woman) NOT HIM! It happens to lots of people!

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  • I judge people with face and neck tattoos. I don’t even apologise for it.

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  • You don’t judge a book by it cover

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  • I feel as though the staff members must have had a genuine concern.. not just because he had tattoos It was pretty easy to prove so unless they said it was because of the tats he may have jumped to a conclusion

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  • I don’t like tattoos, but I wouldn’t accuse anyone of stealing without proof.

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  • That’s not very nice, people shouldn’t be judging.

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  • I do not blame him for being upset – I would be furious and would also challenge them and want answers!

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  • It’s a genuine error by members of this staff and shouldn’t have happened indeed.
    Some tattoos are presenting as a bit aggressive and used to be worn by especially gangsters and criminal types. Nowadays however tattoos have become very common and should not raise questions or prejudgements.

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