Smiling thief jailed for spree
A smiling shoplifter was ‘‘off his face’’ on methamphetamine during a 12-day spree that saw him steal items valued at more than $4500.
Ralph Hohepa Pereira, 28, was sentenced to 12 months prison at Rotorua District Court on Monday for the mammoth shoplifting session that saw him commit 15 theft and shoplifting charges over a 12 day period beginning on May 15, 2017.
Pereira’s lawyer Kathy Jackson said he ‘‘is or was a significant methamphetamine user’’.
She said that while committing the crimes, he was ‘‘probably off his face’’.
Jackson said Pereira had targeted businesses such as Briscoes, Rebel Sport and Countdown in the belief that they were large businesses and so would be less affected by the loss.
‘‘He has since had time to reflect on that,’’ she said.
Sentencing Pereira, Judge Maree McKenzie said Pereira’s drug problems were at the root of the offending, which she described as ‘‘stealing to feed a drug habit’’.
‘‘You will continue to offend unless you address your methamphetamine habit,’’ she said.
Rotorua’s Briscoes was a particu- lar target, with Pereira stealing goods valued at $2499.97 from the homeware retailer, robbing the store twice in the same day.
Details of his offending are outlined in the police summary of facts, beginning on May 15 with the theft of $100 worth of groceries from the Fenton St Countdown.
There were further thefts from Rebel Sport in Rotorua and Hamilton, a number of petrol stations and Farmers in Rotorua - where he stole two hair straighteners valued at $399.98.
His first visit to Briscoes was on June 24, leaving the store with $500 worth of bedding items.
The very next day Pereira hit Briscoes twice, taking a knife block, 11 piece cookware set and a Scanpan stockpot.
‘‘He walked past the checkout and smiled at the staff member as he left the shop making no attempt to pay,’’ the summary of facts stated.
July 7 saw a return to Countdown on Fenton St, this time departing with a trolley full of groceries valued at $615.59, before his final Briscoes visit.
Pereira walked out of the store with two vacuum cleaners and a suitcase - worth a combined $750.