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Conscience gets to guilty petty thieves

Kerri Moore

TWO women with no criminal history appeared in Gympie Magistrates Court yesterday on two separate stealing charges.

North Deep Creek woman Natasha Meghan Van Der Meer, 43, and Lower Wonga pensioner Kaye Lynette Hill, 65, were described as acting out of character in relation to the opportunistic offences. Van Der Meer pleaded guilty to stealing a wallet, mobile phone and keys at Gympie's Big W on March 26.

The court heard Van Der Meer took the items when they were left by a customer who was struggling to carry bulky purchases from the store. When the customer returned to search for them, Van Der Meer stood by with the items hidden, which were later found abandoned in a nearby toilet with $210 missing.

Hill, who was apologetic and embarrassed, pleaded guilty to stealing a horse rug from a Gympie laundromat. She put the unattended rug in her laundry basket and told the owner it had been taken by someone else.

Neither woman could explain their actions and both voluntarily turned themselves in to police.

Gympie Magistrate M. Baldwin told Van Der Meer it seemed ridiculous at her age to "do something so crazy" and placed her on six months good behaviour with a recognisance of $600, with an order to pay $210 restitution. Hill was also placed on six months good behaviour with a recognisance of $450.

No conviction was recorded for either woman.

Topics:  crime gympie magistrates court theft

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