Small-business theft concern
The Margaret River Chamber of Commerce and Industry has voiced disappointment at recent thefts from shops and echoed concerns about a magistrate’s sentencing remarks.
The comments follow a case last month in which a man was sentenced after pleading guilty to thefts from Home Timber and Hardware on November 18.
At the time, sentencing magistrate Brian Mahon put the offender on a 12-month community-based order with 100 hours of community work.
When considering punishment options for the offences, Mr Mahon noted thefts from businesses were “tragic”, but there was an argument they had a lesser impact than thefts from householders.
In its latest newsletter, the chamber reminded residents businesses were mostly owned by local families.
“The chamber was disappointed to hear that one of our most re- spected, generous, long-term members has recently experienced repeat theft from a past employee, resulting in a court hearing,” the newsletter said.
“Even more upsetting were the (sentencing) comments from the magistrate.
“Stealing from their business is akin to stealing from their household.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our community and must be protected and supported by all.”
The offender was also fined $300 plus costs.
Stealing from their business is akin to stealing from their household. Margaret River Chamber of Commerce