Shoplifter stole expensive champagne to fund 'high' life
A shoplifter with champagne tastes told police he targeted the high price alcohol to fund his drug habit.
In July, Kayne Paul Elsdon Banks stole from a New Plymouth supermarket twice in one week, making off with bottles of Moet Chandon and Veuve Clicquot.
Meat packs were also stolen during Banks' supermarket raid.
Sergeant Lewis Sutton told the New Plymouth District Court Banks had deliberately targeted the "high value" items.
He said about 1.40pm on July 25, Banks went to the Countdown supermarket on New Plymouth's Courtenay St.
While there, the 27-year-old stashed a bottle of Moet Chandon and another of Veuve Cliquot along with several packs of meat into a backpack, Sutton said.
The items had a combined value of $300.
Sutton said Banks walked out the supermarket shortly afterwards, without paying.
About 1.45pm on July 31, Banks returned to the same supermarket, where he took two bottles of champagne off the shelf and put them into his bag.
"He left his bag on the ground next to the checkout and walked back into the supermarket," Sutton said.
At this point, Banks noticed the security guard had been watching him, so he retrieved his bag and put the alcohol back onto the shelf.
He was stopped when he tried to leave the store.
"In explanation the defendant stated that on the first occasion he had stolen the two bottles and meat to support a drug habit," Sutton said.
On Wednesday, Banks pleaded guilty to two charges of shoplifting.
Lawyer Julian Hannam said due to his client's criminal history, including previous shoplifting convictions, a pre-sentence report would be appropriate.
Community magistrate Kathy Wilson convicted Banks of the two charges and remanded him on bail for sentencing on October 25.