Father on crime spree said he stole to provide for his children
AFTER becoming a victim to stealing, Jeffrey Allan Garland embarked on his own stealing spree at multiple Dalby business. .
The father-of-two kept his head down as police prosecutor senior constable Jodie Tahana rehashed his offences before Dalby Magistrates Court on Tuesday, July 21.
Snr const Tahana said on February 14 police were conducting patrols of the pubs in Dalby when they were flagged down by security at the Windsor Hotel at 1am.
Staff told police a man had stolen a ticket from a poker machine and attempted to cash it in.
At 9.30pm that night, the victim had pushed the reserve button on his machine and left to get a drink from the bar.
The court heard Garland pushed the reserve button and stole the ticket before the victim returned to his game of pokies.
The value of the ticket was $104.76.
The next day, snr const Tahana said Garland exchanged the ticket he had taken with another person who did not realise it had been stolen.
On February 16, Garland participated in a police interview where he made full admissions to taking the ticket, and said the same incident had happened to him where he was the victim of having a ticket stolen.
Garland’s second stint of stealing began on June 26, when at 4.20pm he entered Big W in Dalby.
The court heard Garland removed a Laser media player, worth $136, from the shelf, and concealed it under his jacket.
The defendant went to the checkout and purchased a bag of chocolates, making no attempt to scan or pay for the media player.
Staff later located a broken security tag laying on the floor of the store, and checked CCTV footage.
Police searched Garland’s address and located the media player under his bed.
He told police he had no money to pay for the media player, and said he was “stupid” for stealing it.
He made full admissions to taking the device and breaking the security tag.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service lawyer Michael McElhinney acted in Garland’s defence, and told the court his client had taken the device because his two children, aged 13 and 10, were coming to visit him for a few weeks.
Mr McElhinney said he didn’t have the money to pay for it because he had broken his phone prior to the incident, which created an “unexpected expense”.
Magistrate Tracy Mossop said Garland’s SPER debt was in excess of $11,000 so fining him for his offences was not within range.
Garland pleaded guilty to two counts of stealing, and an wilful damage to property without consent and thereby caused a loss of $250 or less.
For the stealing charges, Garland was sentenced to 80 hours of unpaid community service to be completed over nine months.
For the wilful damage, Garland was ordered to pay $100 restitution to Big W.
Convictions were recorded.