Shoplifter learns $300 lesson for $50 crime

IT WOULD have been cheaper for Wade Nicholas Duncan to pay for the pair of sunglasses than steal them.

The 20-year-old today pleaded guilty in the Toowoomba Magistrates Court to stealing a pair of $49.95 sunglasses from Bright Eyes at Grand Central on January 21.

Prosecutor Sergeant Mike Robinson told the court Duncan walked into the shop about 12.40pm and browsed the sunglasses turnstyle before choosing a pair of glasses, tucking them under his arm and walking out of the store.

He left the premises but on May 24, after CCTV footage was reviewed, was identified and stopped for a routine check.

Sgt Robinson said when Duncan was questioned he had no explanation for the theft but said he was autistic and compulsively collected things.

Solicitor Peter Sloane said his client suffered autism to a "limited degree" and had since undertaken alcohol and drug counselling.

Duncan pleaded guilty to the single charge of unauthorised dealing with shop goods.

Magistrate Andy Cridland fined Duncan $300 and ordered he pay $49.95 restitution.

The sunglasses were not recovered.

A conviction was recorded.


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