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Over a 12-month period, a Queensland mother of three stole "at least" 515 video games and more than 60 other electrical items, in a crime spree targeting Queensland department stores.
Rebecca Johnson was finally caught as she tried to pinch a Big W shopping cart piled high with "thousands of dollars" worth of stolen goods. That day's haul totalled around AU$2500, but when local police visited Ms Johnson's home, they discovered it was hardly a once-off occurrence.
Reportedly, between January 2011 and February 2012, Ms Johnson shoplifted computer equipment, DVD players, cameras and other electronic items from department stores Target, Big W and K-Mart, with video games a favourite target. Unfortunately for Ms Johnson's kids, the authorities did not discover a house piled high with DVDs, Blu-Ray discs and other gaming paraphenalia.
Instead, once out of the store, Ms Johnson would then pawn the goods, in what was described by Magistrate Virginia Sturgess as a "significant criminal enterprise".
All up, her lightfingered efforts resulted in a profit of nearly AU$7300. Ms Johnson has no criminal history, and claims she was struggling financially at the time. She pleaded guilty to 41 counts of stealing, fraud and possessing tainted property, as well as attempted stealing and entering premises with intent. She has been sentenced to two years probation, and 200 hours of community service to be carried out within the next 12 months.
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