Man accused of collecting $44k cash in supermarkets refund scam

Police will allege a Castle Hill man stole coffee, nicotine replacement gum and other items then got $44,000 in cash refunds at several supermarkets including one at Oatley.

The 24-year-old man is accused of returning bags of coffee and nicotine replacement gum and fraudulently getting a cash refund for them at Oatley, Shellharbour, Dapto, Warrawong and Wollongong supermarkets on May 27 this year.

Police will allege the man stole more than 500 bags of coffee and the fraudulent transactions cost the grocery stores about $44,000 in losses.

The matter was reported to Lake Illawarra Police District and an investigation commenced under the Anti-Theft and Tech Crime Unit.

The man was charged with 53 counts of dishonestly obtaining property by deception and larceny on Wednesday and was issued a Future Court Attendance Notice.

The man was granted conditional bail and is due to face Port Kembla Local Court on January 15.