A woman who stole a credit card from “Santa Claus” in a Goulburn department store has been given a suspended sentenced and ordered to perform community service.
She was also convicted for a later shoplifting spree.
Allison Kay Mallott, 46, of Goulburn, pleaded guilty to dishonestly obtaining financial advantage, shoplifting and having stolen goods in custody when she appeared in Goulburn Local Court on March 15.
Police facts said on December 17 between 11am and 2pm, a man was working as Santa Claus in a local store, getting his photo taken with children and families. He had left his bag at the photographer’s stand.
Mallott had her photo taken with Santa before taking his credit card. Later, the man found there had been two unauthorised ‘tap and go’ transactions using his card, for $83 at a petrol station shop, and another for $87 at a second petrol station shop.
He reported this to police, who checked CCTV footage at the first petrol station at the same time as the transaction. It revealed Mallott, in company, making a series of purchases using the card. Police found and arrested Mallott.
Then, on December 29, Mallott went on a shoplifting spree in Goulburn Square, where she was seen taking a t-shirt and shorts from a clothes shop without paying. When approached by a police officer in the mall and asked to open her bag, further items including t-shirts, socks, lipstick and make-up were found.
Police searched her and located further items, including five CDs, two coffee cups and more socks, still all in their packaging. She was arrested and taken to Goulburn Police Station for questioning.
In court, Mallott’s solicitor said while his client’s extensive criminal history worked against her, it also showed there had been a gap in offending since 2014.
“There had been no offences since 2014 before this,” solicitor Rod Boyd said.
“A number of stressful events in her life led her to return to illicit drug use.
“She refers to herself a kleptomaniac when affected by drugs and this led to that two-week period of offending. She is not even a good thief. She gets caught straight away.”
Police prosecutor Sergeant Fiona Ryan said a message needed to be sent to the community about the problems shoplifting caused in the community. She said there had been a spate of paywave offences.
Magistrate Geraldine Beattie said Mallott had ripped off not only the man, but banks and shops as well.
“You used a credit card stolen from a man who was serving as Santa Claus in a store. You then used it to obtain goods knowing it was not your card,” Ms Beattie said.
“You were ripping off him, the banks and the shops. That poor Santa Claus had to go and get a new card. The shops have to put up their prices. It impacts on everybody.”
She ordered Mallott to serve a total of 195 hours of community service, gave her a nine-month suspended sentence and also a nine-month section-nine bond.