Shoplifting ‘easiest way to get drugs’

February 18, 2016 | By More

Gun City-101A repeat offender has described his shoplifting as “the easiest way to get drugs, basically”.

James Edward George Jones’ thefts range from an $18,000 night vision unit from Gun City to a packet of cigarettes belonging to a shop assistant at a car accessory shop.

The unemployed 31-year-old pleaded guilty to six charges in the Christchurch District Court today and was remanded in custody for sentence on February 26.

He was already set for sentencing on that day on other low-level theft charges and breach of a community work sentence.

Judge Tony Couch checked that a pre-sentence report, which will assess his suitability for home detention, was already being prepared. He also referred the case for a restorative justice meeting with the victims, if they wish, which could delay the sentencing.

Jones twice went into a computer tech store in Hornby in January, once with associates, and stole five Samsung tablets by waiting till no-one was looking and hiding them under his puffer jacket. The stolen items were worth $900.

He bought a bottle of coke at an auto shop in Stanmore Road, and while at the counter he reached behind the chewing gum stand and stole the woman shop assistant’s packet of cigarettes.

Twice he went into a department store in Colombo Street and simply walked out carrying packages containing wireless speakers. The two systems were worth a total of $1098.

On January 10, Jones and a woman went into Gun City in Cranford Street and walked around the shop for 30 minutes.

When there was no-one around, Jones reached over a counter and removed an ATN night vision unit from a display shelf, and walked out with it under his puffer jacket.

The police say the $18,000 unit has never been found and reparation is sought.

Jones told police the unit looked like the easiest thing to sell. “It’s the easiest way to get drugs, basically,” he said.


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