Woman steals pregnancy test kit to avoid ‘gossip’
A DOOMED attempt to avoid small town gossip was the catalyst that caused a young woman to steal a pregnancy test kit from her local supermarket.
A magistrate hearing the case of a Monto woman charged with stealing, was told by prosecutor Sgt Barry Stevens she removed the $10 pregnancy test kit from its box and secreted it on her person.
The woman, aged in her 20s, put the empty box back on the shelf.
She pleaded guilty in the Magistrates Court to stealing the do-it-yourself kit on March 10 from Foodworks in Monto.
Sgt Stevens said the woman was observed by staff to be spending considerable time in the store and staff later scrutinised CCTV footage.
This showed her removing the contents from the box, secreting the items on her body before hiding the box on a shelf in another aisle.
In an interview with police some weeks later Sgt Stevens said she revealed that she had been too embarrassed to buy the kit.
"She stole it as she didn't want the staff to have knowledge of her personal business," Sgt Stevens said.
"She is now banned from the supermarket."
Magistrate Melanie Ho said she could understand that she was embarrassed and not thinking straight at the time in the thought that she might be pregnant.
Ms Ho said being banned from the supermarket in the small town was punishment in itself.
"It is a mistake you made in a small town. No doubt gossip will go around the place in any event."
And in reply to the obvious question, the woman told the magistrate that she was not pregnant.
Ms Ho said the woman had no criminal history and she would not record a conviction.
No punishment was ordered.