A MAN working as a supermarket cleaner at the Gin Gin IGA would finish off his shift by stealing groceries, a court was told.
Gurvinder Singh, a 22-year-old Indian man, faced Bundaberg Magistrates Court on Friday charged with stealing as a servant between February 27 and March 10 this year.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Barry Stevens said Singh worked for a cleaning company and stole groceries about nine times.
But Singh's lawyer said the man committed the crime because either his employer or a fellow employee told him it was okay to take the groceries.
"He took items including oranges, apples, grapes, fruits, nuts, dishwashing liquid, milk, yoghurt, deodorant and socks," Sgt Stevens said.
He said Singh would steal items, place them in bags and take them to his car before returning to lock the store up.
"$3200 restitution is sought," Sgt Stevens said.
"But that seems extremely high even with the high prices of groceries in Gin Gin."
Sgt Stevens said the prosecution would seek $500 on behalf of the Gin Gin IGA and if they could qualify that more was needed, they could pursue that through other avenues. Lawyer Thomas Bray said Singh only took the groceries because he thought it was an acceptable thing to do.
"He was told by this person and his wife that it was okay to take a few items," Mr Bray said.
"You could certainly say that, in that regard, it was fairly opportunistic.
"This offending extends over a period of about nine days with some gaps in between."
Mr Bray said Singh had been in Australia for about three years on a bridging visa and the charges would make it very difficult for him to make any further applications.
Mr Bray said Singh, who had been employed by SP Exports, lost about $5000 in unpaid wages when the company collapsed.
"He suffered quite a financial loss quite recently," he said.
"He's still working in the picking industry but he's not generating much of an income."
Magistrate Jennifer Batts fined Singh $500 and ordered him to pay $500 restitution to the supermarket.
No conviction was recorded against him.