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Troubled Gladstone teen steals from Maccas charity box

A TROUBLED teen who left home for a few weeks only to land in hot water, was given a chance to redeem himself after he stole money from a McDonalds charity donation box and a girls push bike.

He has agreed to do unpaid community work.

Appearing before Gladstone Magistrates Court the teen told police "he felt a little bad" after stealing $15 from the charity box at McDonalds in Kin Kora.

He spent the stolen money on coffees.

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He pleaded guilty to a series of offences mostly committed during July: causing public nuisance, stealing clothes valued at $175 from a sports store, stealing $15 from the charity box, stealing a push bike valued at $200 and contravening a police direction to attend a drug diversion program.

Prosecutor Barry Stevens said the public-nuisance offence happened when police were called to Lions Park at 6.45pm on July 14 where 25 teenagers had to be moved along.

The teen intervened when officers were dealing with a friend of his. He verbally abused officers, swearing loudly, and was arrested.

Sgt Stevens said he stole sports clothes on July 18, concealing the items beneath a big coat, and returned the empty hangers to the display rack. It was captured on CCTV.

The money was stolen from a locked charity box at 8.30pm on July 28, Sgt Stevens saying the teenager "used a pepper satchel" to manipulate the notes out of the box.

"It's not a good look," Sgt Stevens said of the uncharitable act.

On August 1 the teenager stole a push bike that was left at bike racks outside a KFC store by a young employee working inside.

Sgt Stevens said he rode off on it but never revealed to police where the bike was.

Magistrate Melanie Ho ordered the teenager, who agreed, to pay restitution.

After hearing favourable reports on the teenager, who has since returned home, Ms Ho said he could give back to the community by completing 50 hours of unpaid community service work. No conviction was recorded.

Ms Ho told him he would be better off to now get a job and buy the items he wanted.



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