Woman admits raids on airport luggage

A woman has admitted three raids on the luggage carousel at Christchurch Airport, taking bags and contents worth about $4700.

Christchurch District Court Judge David Saunders ordered a report on Cerise Wairaku Duncan’s ability to pay for the losses when he remanded her on bail for sentencing in September.

He remitted $1500 of her existing unpaid fines straight away and imposed 80 hours of community work instead.

He also indicated that at her September 6 sentencing, she was likely to be considered for either supervision or community detention, as well as more community work.

Duncan, a 28-year-old Aranui woman, pleaded guilty to the three thefts at the airport, as well as a theft of headphones from The Warehouse at Eastgate, and a breach of bail.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Grant Neal said Duncan was at the airport’s domestic terminal on November 18, about 2.40pm.

She went to the very end of the conveyor belt carrying the luggage and took a backpack off the carousel.

She carried it out to her car in the carpark where she went through the contents – a laptop computer, Swiss army knife, running shoes, and outdoor clothing, worth a total of $1200.

She then went back inside and picked a sports bag off the same carousel. It contained prescription medicine, a torch, gift, and clothing worth a total of $499.

The third raid on the same carousel involved her taking a suitcase which she wheeled to her car. It contained three pairs of shoes, a mountain jacket, suit jacket, shirts, and running clothing. The total value was $3000.

Sergeant Neal said Duncan told police she took the luggage because she had no money to get out of the airport carpark, and she sold the valuable items and discarded the clothing.

Defence counsel Nicola Hansen said Duncan had no previous convictions.

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