A Towradgi man has been refused bail in court amid accusations he used stolen credit cards to fulfill a would-be “shopping list” of items he then exchanged for heroin.
Jay Pike allegedly told police an associate at the Wollongong methadone clinic had given him a handful of previously stolen credit and debit cards on Tuesday morning and a shopping list of goods to get from Wollongong Central.
Pike allegedly visited multiple stores within the centre, including Glue, JB HiFi, Chemist Warehouse and tobacco shops, each time using Paywave to make purchases under $100.
Among the items allegedly purchased were perfume, cigarettes, video games, cargo pants and alcohol.
The total value of the goods reached almost $500, the court heard.
However, the alleged scam was uncovered less than 24 hours later after police were notified and viewed CCTV footage of the incidents, allegedly identifying Pike via the distinctive red baseball cap and large gold watch he had been wearing.
A description was circulated to GPT security staff who contacted police when Pike returned to the centre on Wednesday morning.
He was arrested and charged with receiving stolen goods and dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage by deception.
Police will allege they discovered Pike in possession of 11 credit and debit cards belonging to five different people. The court heard all cards had previously been reported stolen after recent car break-ins in Woonona and Bulli areas.
When questioned, Pike allegedly told police had been directed to make the purchases by a person he’d met at the methadone clinic, and when finished, he exchanged the goods for heroin.
In court on Thursday, defence lawyer Stewart Holt said Pike was on the methadone program and denied suggestions he had “a $400-a-day heroin habit”.
He said Pike would agree to abide by any conditions if granted bail. However, Magistrate Michael Stoddart refused to release Pike due to his prior criminal record.