March 26, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

An old woman who stole groceries from a store because she was starving will be tried

The story of an elderly woman who went to the extreme – stealing food to eat – did not leave indifferent the inhabitants of Greece. To the questions “Will she be punished for stealing food from the supermarket? If the trial continues, will the court punish the elderly woman?” journalists tried to answer.

The story of an elderly woman who on Saturday afternoon went into a supermarket chain in Ilion and stole food worth 30-40 euros of food because she was starving, causes a strong reaction from the society, Facebook and Twitter users. At the moment, the corresponding hashtag is the first trend on Twitter.

What’s happened

According to the channel open, store managers found the woman “at the scene of the crime.” Despite calls from other supermarket shoppers for the woman not to be caught “red-handed” and not to call the police, the store manager was adamant and said that “the law is the law.”

The person in charge called the law enforcement officers, who took the 70-year-old granny to the nearest police station. There she said that she took this step because she faced big financial problems. She claimed that she had no money and a mortgage with a very large amount that she pays out of her pension, and therefore she was starving. The old woman was crying and begging to be let go home.

According to the channel, there were visitors in the supermarket who offered to repay the amount and wanted to close the issue without initiating a criminal case. However, management insisted that the police initiate the process of filing a lawsuit against the thief.

An old woman’s neighbor appeared on the program “Greece Hour” and said that an elderly woman tried to commit suicide, unable to bear such a shame: “She took 3 pills and we took her to the hospital. The grandmother is trying to commit suicide because she is ashamed that her sons will find out about it.”

What does the management of the supermarket chain say about the situation, where the theft occurred

According to, a source who “knows the situation from the inside” says that the supermarket chain is very “socially conscious” and has proven this in practice over all the years of work in the country.

As the people in charge say, “there is always a positive response to anyone in need, which is regularly done through an organized network” (help with groceries).

Regarding the incident, the same sources stated that they followed what was prescribed by law, and the facts were somewhat distorted. According to them, the management of the supermarket chain will decide whether to withdraw the lawsuit from the judiciary or not. What will be officially announced in the very near future.

What does the Criminal Code provide?

If the trial continues, will the court punish the elderly woman? Article 377 of the Criminal Code (Law 4619/2019) on the theft of goods worth a small amount, states:

“If the crimes provided for in Articles 372 and 375 Part 1 are interpreted as theft of something of little value, a fine or administrative punishment is imposed on the perpetrator – involvement in public works. However, if the act was committed out of the need for immediate use or consumption of the object of theft (products), the court may recognize the act with impunity (leave it without punishment).

Thus, as everything shows, the scenario is as follows: the court, most likely, will justify the old woman’s act, since the reason that prompted her to commit the theft is precisely financial trouble. And she stole not to get rich, but just food.

Everything that the granny told the police is easy to confirm. She actually has a mortgage and a very large loan, and that she is trying to pay off them with pension money, while there is no longer enough money to live on …

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