Employee's fuel card revenge

JONO GALUSZKA
Last updated 07:49 02/04/2014

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When a storeman got angry after being made redundant from a Palmerston North business, he decided his employer could keep paying him somehow.

So he stole a fuel card before using it to steal thousands of dollars of diesel, which he then sold off to his mates.

Andrew Brian Karehana, 37, used to work for the Palmerston North branch of STL Linehaul as a storeman.

He used the card to fill a portable gas tank with diesel from Caltex truck stops in Feilding and Sanson.

He stole $3634 of fuel before his theft was discovered.

Karehana appeared in the Palmerston North District Court for sentencing on one representative charge of theft yesterday.

Defence lawyer Hugh O'Connell said Karehana had been made redundant from STL Linehaul after working some long hours and had been paid out two weeks' wages.

He did not think the payout was good enough, so he took the card and borrowed a friend's fuel tank and trailer to get the diesel, O'Connell said. But the company kept spreadsheets of how each card was used, and quickly discovered the card Karehana was using was making purchases for diesel much larger than could fit in a truck.

"The transactions were eventually going to be tracked back to him," O'Connell said.

Karehana ended up turning himself in to police, making an admission at the Palmerston North police station in November.

Judge Geoffrey Ellis said the admission to police showed Karehana was sorry.

"At least you had the decency to step forward and own up. Most people say sorry once they have been caught."

The judge sentenced Karehana to 120 hours' community work, nine months' supervision and ordered reparation for the stolen diesel.

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- Manawatu Standard

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