Shoplifting with children ‘brazen’

A Dunedin woman’s decision to take her two children on a shoplifting outing has been blasted by a judge.

Kirsty-Lee Tobin (38) had already been trespassed from The Warehouse when she went to the Maclaggan St outlet on June 30.

The plan  to go there with her children and partner to  steal  a range of household items was therefore "quite brazen", Judge Michael Crosbie said.

He told Tobin he was "unimpressed" by her decision to involve  minors in the criminal enterprise.

"They didn’t know," the defendant told him.

"Only when I was arrested."

The judge said: "It’s time for you to start thinking about them rather than thinking about yourself."

Tobin grabbed a trolley when she entered The Warehouse and loaded in a 49-inch television.

She added a duvet set, a toaster and a Nerf gun, while the children each grabbed a basketball.

While her partner distracted staff, she walked out with nearly $1700 of goods, which were never recovered by police.

Four days earlier she and the same man had gone to Pak’n Save in South Dunedin.

There they loaded up a trolley with groceries.

Tobin went to the checkout but claimed she had lost her money in the store.

She was directed to the customer service desk, where she  told an attendant her cash was in the car.

While attempting to push the trolley to the car park with $497 of supermarket items, she was intercepted by staff who realised what was unfolding.

Tobin was told she could come back and pay for the groceries but never did.

She pleaded guilty to theft over the incident as well as a count of burglary relating to the trip to The Warehouse.

Counsel Steve Turner told the Dunedin District Court yesterday his client did not have a pattern of dishonesty offending on her criminal record.

He suggested Tobin had "come under the influence of another person",  her then partner.

Sergeant Chris George said the man was well known to police and  he had also pleaded guilty and was being sentenced next month.

Judge Crosbie noted the defendant had been suffering mental-health issues at the time but had been taking medication, which had helped.

Tobin was sentenced to three months’ community detention and nine months’ supervision and ordered to pay $849 reparation.