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Food Lion Not Taking Chances on Bad Checks

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CARY — A North Carolina supermarket chain istaking steps to prevent criminals from costing everyone money. Food Lionis now asking each customer for a fingerprint before it will cash a payroll checks. The new idea is drawing mixed reviews.

The dilemma is easy to identify. Bad payroll checks account for most ofthe financial loss to fraud in local supermarkets. So, Food Lion is tryingsomething new. From now on, anyone who wants to cash a payroll check hasto give his or her fingerprint first. Then, if the check bounces, theprint goes to the police.

Each cashier has a small pad which the customer touches with a singlefinger. The process only takes a few seconds. In other stores where thefingerprint identification system is used, managers say they've cut fraudup to 40 percent. So far, they say they've heard very few objections.everyonebelieves the store is entitled to that kind ofinformation. Food Lion customer Andre Grenberry says it would make himfeel like a criminal.

The chain tested the idea in several markets before bringing it to theTriangle. If it works the store will save money and those savings will be passed on to customers.

WRAL-TV5'sBrian Bowmansayslocal police departments are welcoming the move, but they caution that a print is useless unless it's clean and taken very carefully.

Reporter/Photographer:Brian Bowman