Shoplifter hit hardware store twice, walking away with $5k worth of stolen goods

The Bunnings store in New Plymouth was targeted twice by a shoplifter, who brazenly walked out with thousands of dollars ...

The Bunnings store in New Plymouth was targeted twice by a shoplifter, who brazenly walked out with thousands of dollars of stolen items. (File Photo).

A brazen shoplifter hit a hardware store twice, stealing items from right under the noses of staff, the New Plymouth District Court heard. 

David Leonard Nicholson went to the Bunnings hardware store on Molesworth St in New Plymouth about 3.20pm on May 28.

Detective Sergeant Dave MacKenzie said as Nicholson walked around the store, he loaded up his trolley with a selection of items including a fireplace, five panel heaters, a clothesline, hose reels, a drill kit and other tools.

"The goods on the trolley had a combined value of $2950.96," MacKenzie said.

When Nicholson walked out of the store, MacKenzie said the 46-year-old waved a piece of paper at the checkout operator as he went past.

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"The defendant had not paid for any of the goods but insinuated to staff that the piece of paper was his receipt from the trade counter," he said.

Nicholson returned to the same store on June 2 at 3.50pm, where he spent some time browsing.

"He then exits and moves his vehicle from the front carpark and parks in the landscaping area near the side door," MacKenzie said.

The defendant took five, three-metre lengths of downpipes and loaded them into his vehicle.  He returned to the store and loaded up a trolley with a drill kit, a chainsaw, a crow bar and other plumbing accessories.

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"He makes his way out to the trade area and engages in conversation with a staff member.  At no time did the defendant make any attempt to pay for any of the goods he had loaded into his vehicle," MacKenzie said. The stolen items were valued at $2224.40.

All of the offending was captured by CCTV footage and Nicholson was arrested by police when he returned to the store for a third time. A total of $5175.36 was sought in reparation. 

On Thursday, Nicholson pleaded guilty to two shoplifting charges. 

Judge Garry Barkle convicted Nicholson and ordered him to complete 150 hours of community work and pay the full amount of reparation.

 - Stuff

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