ATM cash thief caught

A MAN with a bad case of stealer's remorse appeared before Bundaberg Magistrates Court today.

Russell Paul Tasman Hausler, 46, was charged with stealing $600 from a Commonwealth Bank ATM on April 7.

The court was told the victim withdrew the cash, only to walk away without their money and key card.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Barry Stevens told the court Hausler had been standing nearby the victim at the ATM, and had reached over and grabbed the money from the machine and left the scene.

Hausler returned to the bank shortly afterwards and handed over $500, but told bank staff and the victim that he had got the money from another man he had chased down the street. 

Video surveillance proved otherwise – Hausler was spotted taking the cash.

Sgt Stevens said the defendant was “sarcastic” to police about the matter, leading to the second charge being laid.

The court was told Hausler was interviewed by police and that he felt “misled” by them, later calling them “pigs”.

Sgt Stevens said the defendant had prior criminal history in Queensland and interstate.

Defence lawyer Allan Keleher said his client had got off “on the wrong foot” with officers and claimed he was unaware his comments had been heard by police.

Mr Keleher said Hausler had been to the bank to withdraw cash to “pay his debts” and saw the money and card sitting in the machine.

“He took it, then felt remorse and fear,” he said.

“Clearly, he was forthright and took the property back.”

Mr Keleher argued Hausler had been in a defacto relationship for about eight years and had done some community work with Meals on Wheels in the past.

Magistrate Jennifer Batts took into account his early plea of guilty and his previous criminal history.

“I do really accept your behaviour on this day was out of character for you,” she said.

Hausler was convicted and fined $500 for the stealing charge, and $180 for contravening a direction.

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