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Disgruntled employee ‘steals’ entire contents of Londis shop safe in Kingsclere in bid to get paid

A disgruntled convenience shop employee ‘stole’ the entire contents of the shop’s safe before handing it over to the police in a bid to get paid.

Keith Whitehouse, a shop worker at Londis in Kingsclere, told Newburytoday how he entered his workplace on Saturday, September 30, opened the safe and placed all the cash that was inside into a black bag.

He then returned home with the bag and contacted the police, notifying them of what he had done and stating that he wanted to return the money to the shop.

Londis in Kingsclere
Londis in Kingsclere

Mr Whitehouse said that he had seen “red mist” which pushed him to carry out the crime, but that he was “not a thief, just a hard working local”.

He continued: “The staff have had to fight for their wages each month whilst working under appalling conditions.

“I am not a thief but this pushed me over the edge.”

Londis in Kingsclere
Londis in Kingsclere

Mr Whitehouse met with police the following morning and handed over the bag, with the shop owners agreeing not to press charges if the money was returned.

He has since handed in his notice at Londis and has been paid, but he stated that while working there, the shop owners were rude to staff and that this was the third month in a row that staff hadn’t been paid on time.

New ownership took over the village shop – which was previously a McColl’s – in July after the nationwide convenience store chain when into administration.

Mr Whitehouse stated that footfall had fallen considerably since the takeover.

Kumar Mohan, one of the shop’s current owners, strongly denied Mr Whitehouse’s working conditions claims and stated that he feels “alienated” from his employees, some of whom he alleges have sent threatening messages.

Mr Mohan said: “We can’t push and pressure the staff. I know that.

“All we ask [of our staff] is ‘please keep standards correct, and please make sure everything is available’. That is all we ask.”

He stated that the staff are being paid on time, and that it just takes a few days for staff to receive their wages after their payslips are issued at the end of each month.

He also said that the wage process had changed since he took over the business, and that he had explained this to his workers on several occasions.

Mr Mohan added: “It’s so hard on me. It’s getting very annoying with staff coming in and taking money out of the safe.

“Do you know how frustrating that is?”

Speaking about the incident, a police spokesperson said: “We were called on September 30 to a report of theft at the Londis store on Swan Street in Kingsclere.

“It was reported that a large amount of money was taken from the store. The money has since been returned.”

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