AN IPSWICH grandmother was caught trying to steal more than $200 worth of garden ornaments from a gift shop. Photo: Nick Clayton
AN IPSWICH grandmother was caught trying to steal more than $200 worth of garden ornaments from a gift shop. Photo: Nick Clayton

Grandma’s ‘mini crime spree’ ramps up at gift shop

A GRANDMOTHER with no previous criminal history embarked on a "mini crime spree" in which she was caught attempting to swindle garden ornaments.

Ipswich Magistrates Court heard Elizabeth Charmaine Beveridge, 52, had already swiped items from two shops when she was caught red-handed at What's Hot Gift Shop.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Paul Caldwell said the shopkeeper phoned police on August 18, after Beveridge attempted to leave the store with more than $200 worth of goods.

"When (she) attended the store, she selected numerous garden and homeware items from an isle and placed them in a shopping cart," Sgt Caldwell said.

"She went to the counter and paid for two of the items but then attempted to leave the store with remaining items valued at $213.98 concealed in the cart."

The court heard Beveridge had earlier gone to Healthy World Pharmacy about 11am, grabbing a 100ml bottle of Tea Tree oil and "concealed it among her belongings".

"She conducted other business within the store, however she left making no attempt to pay. It's $7.95 for that bottle of Tea Tree oil," Sgt Caldwell said.

After visiting the chemist, Beveridge went to Daiso and stole a three-pack of toothbrushes, three toothbrush holders, a disposable razor and a packet of makeup buds, all together worth $15.

Though she was able to sneak away undetected from the first two stores, her stealing spree was cut short at the gift shop.

"The counter operator demanded the items back and (Beveridge) initially denied having the items, but she then handed them back when the counter operator said she was calling police," Sgt Caldwell said.

The court heard, when police arrived, Beveridge told them she "stuffed up" and was "struggling financially".

Beveridge pleaded guilty to two counts of unauthorised dealing with shop goods and one of attempted stealing.

Magistrate Virginia Sturgess told Beveridge her financial circumstances didn't excuse her "mini crime spree".

"Struggling financially doesn't mean you are entitled to help yourself to $200 worth of garden ornaments or other items … None of these things seem to be essential items; we're not talking about food or essential medications," Ms Sturgess said.

"If you don't have the money, you don't get the items. Plenty of people are struggling financially at the moment and they don't go around stealing."

Beveridge was fined $400 with no conviction was recorded.

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