Beef over thief grief
TIGHT- ARSE travellers who can afford to include Australia in their globe- trotting adventures but steal groceries to save a few bucks have irritated Darwin authorities.
German tourist Maximilian Goebel and Texan machine operator Bryon Johnson faced court for separate acts of stealing at the CBD Coles Supermarket this week.
Magistrate Greg Smith told Johnson: ‘‘This is something we have to deal with far too often.
‘‘It’s a matter of great annoyance to people who live in the region that (tourists) can afford to travel the world but won’t pay for food when they get here.’’
Johnson pleaded guilty to stealing groceries and assaulting a female security guard.
The court heard the woman detained him in a small interview room downstairs at the Mitchell Centre complex and he ‘‘panicked’’.
Prosecutor Julie O’Neill said: ‘‘He (rushed at the door and) pushed the victim with force, she grabbed his bag to stop him . . . he fell on top of her and crushed her.’’
He fled but was detained by the store manager before police arrived.
(Tourists) can afford to travel the world but won’t pay for food when they get here
Defence lawyer Caroline Snell said the American father-of-two spent four days in custody.
‘‘ He knows he did the wrong thing,’’ she said.
‘‘It was the first time he had ever been in trouble.
‘‘He was trying to save a few dollars and took the food without paying.’’
Magistrate Smith said Johnson would have been in a better position if he accepted that he had done the wrong thing.
‘‘Consider yourself very lucky to be walking away today,’’ he said, before imposing a bond and $1000 fine.
Goebel apologised when he faced the stealing charge.
Magistrate Michael Carey said backpackers stealing from Coles Darwin was a common occurrence.
‘‘The stupid part is you had more than enough money to pay for it.’’