Warrawong handbag stealing victim gives police unfortunate description of alleged offender Chantell Gordon

A Woonona woman released on strict bail over accusations she snatched a handbag out of a car before Christmas has found herself back behind bars after breaching her bail within 24 hours.

Chantell Gordon was arrested on December 30 and refused bail in Wollongong Local Court on New Year’s Eve after it was revealed she had failed to report to police each day – as per the conditions of her bail – since she was initial released on December 22.

Court documents said the victim of the stealing matter was driving to the Open Hearth Hotel at Warrawong to pick up a friend in the early hours of December 22 when she saw a woman staggering on the roadway and, believing it might be her friend, stopped to pick her up.

Gordon allegedly opened the door and asked for a lift, at which time the victim realised it wasn’t her friend and refused. It is alleged Gordon grabbed the woman’s bag from the passenger seat and ran off with it.

The woman reported the matter to police, describing the thief as “approximately 40 years old” with short, cropped hair, “bad breath” and a coarse voice. 

The victim said the thief was wearing a shiny, triangle-shaped bra, long baggy track pants and looked like a “dirty old junkie hooker”.

“Upon hearing the victim’s description of the accused, police were on the opinion it was Chantell Gordon,” investigating officers said in a statement to the court.

Police tracked Gordon to Cowper Street where the victim positively identified her.

As part of her court-imposed bail, Gordon was required to report to Wollongong Police Station daily from December 23 and remain drug and alcohol-free at all times.

However, it is alleged Gordon failed to report to police at all between December 23 and December 29 and when she did turn up on December 30, she appeared under the influence of a drug.

She was subsequently arrested and charged with breaching her bail.

Registrar Nicole Hoffman refused to release Gordon on account of her lengthy criminal record.

Gordon will receive mental health treatment while in custody. The case will return to court on January 8.