Shortland Street star questioned by police over shoplifting

By Rebecca Milne

Shortland Street import Adam Rickitt yesterday admitted shoplifting a block of cheese, a bottle of HP Sauce and a jar of coffee - but says it was an "honest mistake".

In a tearful confession, the former Coronation Street star told the Herald on Sunday yesterday he was "so stressed out" he failed to pay when leaving Auckland's Henderson Pak'nSave supermarket.

It resulted in a trip to the Henderson police station, escorted by officers. Rickitt now expects to appear in court and face charges over the incident.

Rickitt, 28, from England, plays serial murder suspect and bar owner Kieran Mitchell on the long-running TV2 soap, filmed in Henderson. The Pak'nSave is a handy nearby shopping spot for regulars on the show.

The Herald on Sunday visited Rickitt's west Auckland home and found the actor clearly distressed.

"I have recently found out some very upsetting family news," Rickitt said. "I was feeling helpless to deal with it because of the distance.

"I was so stressed out that without realising, or thinking, during my weekly shop of $200, I failed to pay at the checkout for a jar of coffee, bottle of HP sauce and cheese."

Tears rolled down Rickitt's face as he apologised for his indiscretion. He would not give details of the family news, but said it put him under considerable emotional stress.

"But my actions were without malicious intent. I wasn't thinking straight at that moment. I can't apologise enough for what was a very embarrassing and uncharacteristic moment of stupidity.

"It was an honest mistake and I'm so sorry for any inconvenience that it has caused," Rickitt said.

A Henderson police spokesman would not confirm whether anyone was charged with shoplifting at the police station on Friday. Rickitt said he was taken to the station and believed he would end up in court.

"Whether you're stealing a car, or a thimble there is a protocol you have to follow," he said. "I'm submitting to that with a great deal of embarrassment. But I'm more than happy and willing to bring it to a quick conclusion.

"I don't know any more details because I haven't spoken to a lawyer yet. I'm trying to get through this as quickly as possible."

After the incident, Rickitt admitted everything to his employers, who are supporting their favourite new star in light of his family drama.

"The police were very nice at the time," Rickitt said. "They [police] said, 'Don't worry. It's not like we are going to put you out and hang you. We realise it's just a mistake but there is protocol we have to follow'."

Pak'nSave Henderson's manager Matt Lal confirmed the actor had been caught. "I don't want to dwell on this further. We have quite a high number of shoplifting incidents, like any other retail outlet. And like every other customer we do watch them."

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