Arrest warrant for determined thief

Even the possibility of a home detention sentence stretching ahead proved too much for determined thief Donna Reta Mareraki.

The 33-year-old was due to be sentenced by Judge Tom Gilbert in the Christchurch District Court today on 24 charges.

But on January 13, she cut off her electronically monitored bail anklet and went on the run.

“She hasn’t been picked up to date,” said her defence counsel, Vicki Walsh, who had to front up in court without her client.

Mrs Walsh said the pre-sentence report had been done, but home detention was apparently “not something she was willing to accept”. She said Mareraki had been “pretty low” while serving time on electronically monitored bail.

“She has been straight for many months, but on the home straight she wasn’t able to manage it,” she said.

Judge Gilbert issued an arrest warrant.

Mareraki had been allowed electronically monitored bail when she was remanded for sentencing in August, and the judge had ordered an assessment of her suitability for a home detention term.

She had admitted 16 theft charges, including expensive jackets from Kathmandu, and a swimming pool worth $932 from The Warehouse. The total value of her thefts was still being settled, but at that stage the unrecovered items totalled $23,777.

She also admitted five charges of receiving stolen items, two assaults, and resisting arrest. One shop staff member received bruises and scratches when she tried to stop Mareraki leaving a store at Tower Junction.