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Man arrested after complaining his iPad was switched with clay

Father and family man Colin Marsh, woke up one day recently and decided to do something special. Feeling good about life and a little generous, he headed off to Tesco to buy his daughter a new iPad. Upon purchasing he walked out of the store – feeling like the dad of the year – and rushed home to give his daughter the shiny new device. Once there they sat down together ready to open up the box with excitement filling them both, but unfortunately, it ended there as instead of an iPad, the pair were greeted with a lump of clay.

“I couldn't believe it when I saw what was inside the box,” Marsh told the Kentish Gazette. Obviously upset, he went back to the supermarket, explained his situation and asked for a refund but it wasn't as easy as that. “My daughter was devastated. I took it back to Tesco, but they said they couldn't give me a refund and would need to carry out an investigation.”

Screen Shot 2013-11-15 at 12.20.44
You're probably pulling a “WTF” face right about now

Later that day the phone rang and Marsh answered, probably expecting it to be a call from Tesco letting him know how the investigation went. However, that was not the case. It was the police asking him to come down to the station to answer some questions.

“I just thought they wanted to know what had happened,” he said. “But the next thing I know I'm being bundled into a cell.”

The police didn't just arrest him without cause though, the iPad had been activated in his name.

“This was investigated and as soon as it became clear that Mr Marsh had not committed any offences, his bail was cancelled and he was informed police would not be taking any further action against him.”


The iPad was eventually tracked down to Wales, more than 200 miles away from where Colin Marsh bought it. He got his money back too, but Tesco didn't issue an apology for having him thrown in jail.

Kitguru Says: This was definitely an odd story, I don't get how someone could have got away with switching iPads for clay right in the shop. Kudos to Marsh for being a good sport too. You know if this was America he's be suing Tesco to the hilt. 

Sources: The Inquirer, Kentish Gazette, Telegraph

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  1. In America, that arrest would be on his permanent record

  2. I’d imagine there’s a lot more to this story than has been published – I mean wouldn’t you call the police if someone tried to return clay in exchange for 400 notes??!?!?

  3. This becomes a lot less suspicious if you go back to the original article in the Kentish gazette – tesco told the police it was activated in his name, but their info was false. Amazing how someone returned clay though – probably a bad refund?