News stories – Community service for wallet thief

This article was originally published in print in The Herbert River Express on June 7 2017

A 53-YEAR-OLD Ingham woman has pleaded guilty to stealing a wallet in a crime of opportunity.

Sharon Ann Jang stole the wallet, containing several hundred dollars in cash, outside Woolworths Supermarket, Ingham.

In the Ingham Magistrates Court, Prosecutor Subarna Raut said on April 19, 2017 at 9.48am, the victim left his wallet, containing $350 cash and work tickets required for being at work sites, on top of a bag of ice.

Prosecutor Raut said the victim returned to the area at 10am and realised he didn’t have his wallet. He said police were notified straight away.

Prosecutor Raut said the defendant was identified on CCTV picking up the wallet and walking inside Woolworths. When police spoke to Jang she told them she’d picked up the wallet, taken the money out, which she believed was about $350 in $50 notes, then placed the wallet in the fruit and veg stall. She admitted to police she spent the cash on groceries.

Jang said she couldn’t resist stealing the wallet because she was struggling financially, was currently on a pension of roughly $249 per week, alternating with $450-460 the other week.

Prosecutor Raut said Jang told police she thought about returning the wallet, but it got the better of her. He said the wallet had not been returned.

Jang’s lawyer said his client had co-operated with police and “was in need of money”, as she was on a pension and her husband was on a disability support pension. He said Jang committed the crime more “out of need than greed”.

Magistrate Peter Smid noted Jang had a long history of similar ‘dishonest’ offences on her criminal history.

Jang was sentenced to complete 40 hours community service for the stealing, conviction was recorded. She was ordered to pay $400 compensation to the victim for the wallet and stolen cash.

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