You have..? Think that this is a brilliant idea? Think that it's not theft if the goods do not leave the store..?
It is theft. Here's some free legal advice for you.
Theft is defined under s.1 of the Theft Act as follows:
(1) A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it; and “thief” and “steal” shall be construed accordingly.
(2) It is immaterial whether the appropriation is made with a view to gain, or is made for the thief’s own benefit.
Now, it's quite a mouthful of jargon, so here's some assistance from the courts which has put some of this jargon into perspective, with particular reference to the issues that people can't seem to get their heads around in this so-called advice about donating goods "on behalf" of Tescos, without Tescos permission...
R v Morris, Anderton v Burnside  AC 320.
Morris took two items from supermarket shelves and replaced the correct labels with ones showing lower prices. He took the items to the checkout, paid the lower price and was then arrested. Burnside took the label off a joint of meat and placed it on a more expensive joint. His act was discovered and he was arrested before he got to the checkout. Both defendants were convicted.
Lord Roskill explained that the switching of price labels amounted to appropriation because it was an assumption by the defendant of the owner's right to determine what price the goods were to be sold at. If accompanied by mens rea it would be theft. Lord Roskill envisaged appropriation as any assumption of any right of an owner which amounted to adverse interference with, or usurpation of, those rights.
INTENTION TO PERMANENTLY DEPRIVE
s6(1) - INTENTION TO USE OR DISPOSE OF THE GOODS
* Where D abandons property belonging to another he may be deemed to intend to permanently deprive that other of it, if the circumstances are such that there is little likelihood of the owner ever having the property returned to him. For example, D takes V's book and leaves it in a dustbin or on a park bench. D may hope that it is returned to V, but it is likely to be regarded as a disposal regardless of V's rights.
I'm at the point now where if people don't want to listen or believe that donating goods on behalf of Tescos (or any other supermarket for that matter) is theft simply because the goods don't leave the store, well...then fuck 'em.
But here's a couple of points to consider.
If someone removed items from your shopping, say, as you were loading the boot of your car and donated them to the food-bank without your permission, isn't that obviously theft? Tescos have paid for the items that are sitting on their shelves...regardless of markup, those items belong to Tescos, and unless explicitly stated, you do not have permission to take goods that don't belong to you and drop them in a donation bin UNTIL you have paid for them. Only when you have paid for them, and they belong to you, do you have any legal right to dispose of them as you see fit.
If you're shopping in the supermarket and you eat food off the shelves without paying for it when you get to the checkout, isn't that still theft, despite the fact that the food hasn't "left the store"..?
Isn't the fact that the donation bins are located beyond the tills suggestive of the fact that there is an expectation you pay for your goods before donating them?
And what is it with all this "If they don't leave the store it's not theft" bollocks, when at some point THE DONATIONS ARE GOING TO LEAVE THE STORE!
If Tescos (or any other supermarket) do indeed possess off-shore accounts, doesn't that tell you something? Doesn't that tell you they have armies of savvy lawyers and accountants at their disposal, and aren't so fucking stupid that they'd overlook this?
And what about the consequences for the needy, on behalf of whom these collection bins are put in place? What would happen if all these self-righteous fools who believe there's a loophole here pissed off the supermarkets because they were abusing the system? Isn't it remotely possibly the supermarkets might say: "You know what...fuck this. We're just gonna stop collecting."
Like I said...I'm past caring whether people get themselves nicked now. If they choose to believe that this act is not theft, that's up to them.
But for crying out loud...have some common sense. Abusing this system carries with it the risk of sabotaging help for the very people you think you're doing a solid.