A shoplifting trio with a penchant for books and drugs spent two years "going to work" raiding stores and selling hundreds of stolen items on Trade Me.
Anything that could fit inside a jacket was open game for Terrence Davidson, Brendon Cornish and Natalie Dewar, as they raided Hawke's Bay stores in an organised operation that included keeping a diary of stores to target and items stolen.
All up, the trio pleaded guilty to 13 charges, including theft, conspiring to steal, and using a computer dishonestly. Nine involved Davidson, 32, and his partner Dewar, 28, or his flatmate Cornish, 34. The other offences were carried out individually.
Mostly they stole books, which they sold on to buy drugs.
In text messages to each other they referred to shoplifting as "going to work".
Their operation came to an end in June last year when police raided various addresses and recovered $8600 of stolen items.
Stolen items included Freeview recorders, six knives worth $594, items worth $1959 from one Taradale pharmacy, clothing, tools, and hundreds of books.
Between August 2010 and June 2012, Cornish created over 700 listings on Trade Me, with 60 successful auctions netting more than $2000.
Judge Tony Adeane said the victims ranged from small businesses to corporates. Items stolen amounted to thousands of dollars "but nationwide, of course, offending of the kind cost the community tens of millions each year".
The judge said Davidson had "a quite appalling history of dishonesty, with 18 shoplifting convictions" and sentenced him to a jail term of two years and seven months.
Cornish also had significant previous dishonesty offences and was sentenced to 18 months' jail.
Dewar's offending was confined to only two months and had family support that made a home detention sentence viable. She was sentenced to eight months' home detention.
- The Dominion Post