Jail for shoplifter nabbed on social media

February 27, 2016 | By More

Gun City-102A 31-year-old Leeston man caught after Gun City posted CCTV video of a shoplifter online has been jailed for more than two years, in the Christchurch District Court.

James Edward George Jones was sentenced on nine thefts including five Samsung tablets, stereo units, and an $18,000 ATN night vision unit from Gun City in Cranford Street.

After the expensive unit was found to be missing, the shop posted footage online and asked for help to identify the offender. Jones was arrested a few days later.

Defence counsel Ruth Harcourt said all of Jones’ offending was driven by his addiction to morphine, but the time he had spent in custody had made him feel healthier and clearer in the head.

He was very committed to doing a drug rehabilitation programme, she said.

Judge Stephen O’Driscoll said Jones was very brazen in his offending, taking items that were expensive and easy to sell for money for drugs.

Some of his offending was done while he was on bail, and he had already been sentenced to rehabilitation programmes three times for his drug problems.

He said change for Jones would only happen when his addiction had been addressed.

Jones did not have a suitable address for home detention, but with the sentence imposed he would not have been eligible for it anyway.

Judge O’Driscoll said he needed to protect the business community from Jones, and sentenced him to prison for two years one month.

He said the parole board would consider any rehabilitation needs for Jones, and that reparation for his victims was unrealistic.

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Category: Focus

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