Outsmarted by a phone

LYN HUMPHREYS
Last updated 05:00 14/03/2014

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A woman who stole a handbag was caught by a phone app.

The victim, who called police, used the app to track down her phone and catch Janine Wendy Elliot.

Elliot, 49, unemployed, was convicted in the New Plymouth District Court on Wednesday after admitting stealing two handbags from the Good Home Bar and defrauding Work and Income.

At 2am on August 25 she was in the bar and told an accomplice to knock an unattended handbag on to the floor. CCTV caught her picking up the bag. The two left and soon after used a credit card to buy tobacco and other items from a city service station.

In the same bar on December 14 at 2.30am, Elliot warned a woman who put her clutch purse up against the bar for safekeeping that there were thieves operating.

In the purse were two smartphones worth $1000 and a wallet.

When the woman discovered her purse had gone her partner was able to track one of the stolen phones with the tracking application on his own phone.

Police went to Elliot's Westown home and found the phones. Other stolen property was also found.

Elliot also admitted defrauding Work and Income of $297.97 on October 9 when she was given a return-to-work payment which she used to buy items, but never went to the job interview.

She will be sentenced on April 24 after Judge Allan Roberts called for a full pre-sentence report.

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