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.

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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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  • It’s definitely wrong if he’s walked that far only then to be called back – its definitely humiliating

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  • To be fair, although tats are mainstream now, they used to be used as sign of membership to gangs and organised crime. I don’t have a problem with tats but do think some people immediately get a bad or wrong impression of someone because of them.

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  • Oh no famous rich people like singers have tats poor guys no wonder he’s upset

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  • What a disgrace, did they actually watch the cctv or just assume he did it

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  • People do look at tats as FERAL….I myself don’t have tats and also think they look not very nice… but it should not be taken that all people with them are bad…..it is what it is….

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  • It shouldn’t happen however people do perceive you by the way you look. Lots of tattoos and piercings make you look less trustworthy, many studies have proven that.

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