Meat thief charged with extra offence after cops peek in bag
A MAN who stole more than $191 worth of meat in an effort to save money for a car was charged with an extra offence after police took a look through his backpack.
Robert Allan Dunn, 32, pleaded guilty to two counts of stealing and one count of possessing dangerous drugs in Gladstone Magistrates Court on Monday.
The court heard that on August 8, Queensland Police were called to a north Ipswich supermarket after an informant saw Dunn take meat products off the shelf and put them into his backpack.
Police prosecutor acting Senior Constable Balan Selvadurai said the man left the supermarket without any attempt to pay for the backpack full of food.
As police searched the defendant's backpack, a number of packed syringes were discovered.
Snr Const Selvadurai said police also found crystal remnants in the search of the bag.
The court heard Dunn's backpack contained $118.24 worth of meat products, all of which were perishable items.
Snr Const Selvadurai said that more than two months later, on October 24, police attended Woolworths at the Gladstone Valley shopping centre where the man took food items again, this time placing them in a plastic bag before leaving without attempting to pay.
He said Dunn was "very co-operative" and "forthright" when police confronted him about the theft.
Dunn told police officers he was saving for a car, which is why he stole his dinner that night.
The court heard the second incident amounted to $72.75 worth of food.
Defence lawyer Lauren Townsend said the father of two admitted he had a problem with drugs, which is what led him to move to Gladstone.
"He came (here) to escape that (Ipswich) drug scene," she said.
Ms Townsend said it was this move and effort which the defendant attributed to the stealing offences.
She told acting magistrate Mark Morrow her client was very remorseful for what he had done, was willing to pay restitution and that he had stolen the meat for his own consumption.
Dunn was put on a nine-month probation for all three charges.
No conviction was recorded.