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Bag ban outrage

Hervey Bay's Trish Spry and son Sean Hesketh are upset after Sean's bag with his laptop inside was stolen when he was asked to leave his bag outside the store.
Hervey Bay's Trish Spry and son Sean Hesketh are upset after Sean's bag with his laptop inside was stolen when he was asked to leave his bag outside the store. Karleila Thomsen

A HERVEY Bay mum is fuming that her son's laptop was stolen after a security guard told him he couldn't take his bag into a supermarket.

Tricia Spry said her 13-year-old son Sean was shopping at Pialba Place shopping centre on Saturday afternoon when he was asked to leave his bag outside Coles.

Following the security guard's advice, he dropped the bag containing the laptop at the entrance to the store and when he returned, it was missing.

A furious Ms Spry said she was still paying off the computer, which had cost her $1500 earlier this year.

"I have never heard of another supermarket saying you have to leave everything outside before you can enter," Ms Spry said.

"It's ridiculous.

"They are just targeting teenagers here.

"You've got people going in with handbags and mums pushing prams, but they don't get told not to take their stuff inside.

"If they are going to have rules like this then I think they should provide a safe area where people can store their bags."

The theft comes just weeks after Sean's scooter was stolen from outside the shopping centre, which has a ban on skateboards and scooters.

The $300 MGP scooter was just days old when it was pinched.

"It's like we are providing for thieves," said Ms Spry, a mother of six.

"They get laptops and scooters and we have to pay for it.

"My husband and I go to work every day and it's not like you can just go out and buy a laptop when-ever."

The theft of the computer has been reported to police.

Police says they will be reviewing CCTV footage from Pialba Place.

Centre manager Sherrie Stone said she was not aware of the incident but would be making inquiries with staff today.

She confirmed that scooters and skateboards were not allowed in the centre, but couldn't comment on the policies of individual stores.

Coles spokesman Jim Cooper said the security guard involved was not a Coles employee and that the supermarket did not have a bag ban in place.

However, he said customers were welcome to leave their bags at the store's front desk while they did their shopping if they preferred to do so.

"Obviously this is an unfortunate incident and we're still not completely clear as to what's happened," Mr Cooper said.

"We'll be working through this with centre management, with the police and also with the customer and his family."

The same Coles store came under fire last year for placing a blanket ban on any students wearing a Hervey Bay State High School uniform.

Topics:  coles, crime, hervey bay, police, security guard, theft


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