Chips, lollies and swords in poor thief's stealing spree

A CASH-strapped thief ransacked a home and used the owner's pillowcase to carry off the loot, which included swords.

Ipswich Magistrates Court heard that in other stealing offences the young man walked out of a store with two mates with chips and lollies.

He also visited the same electronics store twice in an hour to steal two sets of earphones worth $400.

The convicted thief, Jason Timaloa, blames tough financial times for his spate of stealing offences.

Timaloa, 21, from Camira, pleaded guilty in Ipswich Magistrates Court to two counts of entering a dwelling; stealing; evading a train fare; having property suspected of being stolen; and failing to appear in court.

Prosecutor Sergeant Paul Caldwell said Timaloa was identified as being one of three males recorded by CCTV at a Thrifty food store in Bethania on August 26. Two energy drinks, two packets of chips and sweets valued at $30 were stolen and hidden in their jackets. At the rail station two weeks later, Timaloa was wearing the same distinctive cap as seen on the store CCTV.

Sgt Caldwell said Timaloa entered a house in Bellbird Park on August 7. The owner returned to hear thumping sounds from inside, and found a damaged door.

Two males attempted to flee the scene but one police officer restrained Timaloa.

Sgt Caldwell said fingerprints left at the scene of another burglary were Timaloa's.

That house had been ransacked and the thief used a pillowcase from the victim's bed to take the gear.

Stolen items included electronic equipment and two swords. Sgt Caldwell said a store at Orion shopping centre reported that the same man had twice walked in and stolen two headphones valued at $199 each.

Defence lawyer Zara Rudan said Timaloa instructed that the basis for his offending was a financial issue.

Magistrate Donna MacCallum sentenced Timaloa to six months' jail, suspended for 18 months. He was fined $850 for other charges.

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