ZB ZB
Live now
Start time
Playing for
End time
Listen live
Listen to NAME OF STATION
Up next
Listen live on
ZB

'Shocked and horrified': Kmart apologises to Christmas shopper wrongly accused of theft

Author
Jaime Lyth,
Publish Date
Tue, 19 Dec 2023, 9:23AM
Misha Peters (inset) was accused of shoplifting by K Mart. Photo / Sylvie Whinray
Misha Peters (inset) was accused of shoplifting by K Mart. Photo / Sylvie Whinray

'Shocked and horrified': Kmart apologises to Christmas shopper wrongly accused of theft

Author
Jaime Lyth,
Publish Date
Tue, 19 Dec 2023, 9:23AM

An Auckland woman says she had “the worst shopping experience” of her life after an apparent case of mistaken identity saw Kmart staff accuse her of shoplifting $800 worth of goods. 

Misha Peters was at her local Kmart in Botany, Auckland to do her Christmas shopping last Wednesday evening. 

“Well, it did not turn out well for me,” she said, recalling the incident to the Herald. 

“I was still walking in the store getting my last items after about 90 minutes of shopping when suddenly I was accosted by the police who said the store phoned them in a state and accused me of being a known shoplifter, and they were scared I was going to run out of the store with my trolley full of items.” 

Peters said one of the staff members shouted to the police, “Yes that’s her!” 

“To say I was shocked and horrified is an understatement.” 

She said she was dumbfounded when six police officers were sent to the store to talk to her. 

Peters eventually received a long apology email from Kmart customer service which said there was also going to be an investigation into the incident. 

Kmart declined to comment and referred the Herald to police. Police have been approached for comment. 

Misha Peters. Misha Peters. 

In the apology letter, seen by the Herald, Kmart acknowledged the gravity of the accusations. 

“Firstly, I want to sincerely apologise for the distressing experience you endured, and I am truly sorry for any embarrassment and inconvenience caused during what should have been a joyful Christmas shopping spree,” the letter read. 

“Such behaviour from our staff is not reflective of the standards we uphold at Kmart, and we are conducting a thorough investigation into the matter. 

“To demonstrate our commitment to making this right, we would like to offer you a sincerest apology.” 

But Peters said she still wants an explanation as to why they falsely accused her of being a known shoplifter. 

“I have never stolen anything in my entire life,” she said. 

Despite the police officers being kind and understanding about the mix-up, Peters said the staff in-store continued to insist she was a known shoplifter. 

“I have never been so embarrassed in my life, standing there with the police having to question my motives, when I was trying to do my Christmas shopping, which is normally an enjoyable experience. 

“Everyone in the shop staring at me like I’m a criminal.” 

Peters was eventually able to finish her shopping and pay $813.40 for her trolley worth of goods, but was upset when the staff in the store did not apologise. 

“They just blatantly glared at me like I was in the wrong.” 

Misha Peters bought 48 items for $814.30 from Kmart Botany after they realised she wasn't stealing and allowed her to checkout. Photo / Supplied.Misha Peters bought 48 items for $814.30 from Kmart Botany after they realised she wasn't stealing and allowed her to checkout. Photo / Supplied. 

Peters said she had shopped at the store recently and talked to staff. 

“As I am new to the country, in the past few months I have bought most of my homeware from here, I purchased two bicycles for my sons, I buy most of my kids clothing there, and the list goes on,” she said. 

“When I finally got home after all of this I burst out crying while I phoned my husband to tell him what happened to me. He too was in shock.” 

Take your Radio, Podcasts and Music with you