Sam, The Shoplifting Seagull

Not really a scam as such but this news story I found certainly made me smile.

The BBC reports that a seagull in Aberdeen, Scotland has become a regular shoplifter, stealing crisps from a newsagent, RS McColl.

Apparently the bird, which has become so well known that locals have called him Sam, has a particular liking for cheese Doritos.

Sam, who now has his crisps paid for by local residents, had his crime down to a fine art, waiting until there were no customers and the shopkeeper was behind his till.

He would swoop in, steal the crisps and then take them outside before ripping the packet open. He would then be joined by his friends who would quickly enjoy their criminal proceedings in the street.

A local RSPB member said that this kind of theft is normally totally unheard of.

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About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


  1. maybe a little cruel…

    I was thinking of the mice and dolphins when i wrote that, but I only ever see dolphins swimming and i really never see mice (underground efforts are ongoing no doubt), but seagulls… seagulls and pigeons are everywhere… and I think they are getting smarter!

    Just make sure you don’t panic!

    • It’s good to see that you have grabbed yourself an avatar – that certainly gets rid of a few silhouttes off of the comments!!

  2. That is awesome… I love the picture in the article of Sam walking out the front door.

    We have a similar problem on the beaches here in CA. As soon as a group of people go in the water (esp. fun to watch if one person gets left behind) the seagulls attack with alarming cooperation. They can get a sealed bag of chips out of a plastic grocery bag that is in a beach-bag (among clothes, lotion, etc). They take their bounty just out of range of the blanket area they stole it from, rip it open and split the earnings!!

    It is funny when someone gets left behind because then you get to see a sort of reversed cat and mouse with the person chasing away the gulls, hiding the chips, and laying back down to get some sun only to discover that they have gotten to the chips again (this usually cycles several times before the people that were swimming return and they almost never believe the person telling the story)

    Do you think that perhaps seagull are preparing to take over the world and they are testing our abilities to defend ourselves with something nominal like stealing our chips?


    • ‘fun to watch if one person gets left behind’

      you’re a cruel one arn’t you!! 😀

      As for seagulls taking over the world, I think you are wrong – Douglass Adams worked it out years ago – it’s some sort of pact between the mice and dolphins.

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