A New Zealand Couriers employee who stole more than $22,000 worth of parcels has been sentenced to community work and ordered to pay thousands in reparation at a rate that may take her nearly six years.
Bonnie Price, 28, appeared in the Hastings District Court for sentencing this morning after pleading guilty to 22 theft charges relating to parcels of computer products she stole while working night shifts at the outlet's Napier branch.
The Hastings woman was seven months into employment with New Zealand Couriers when she nicked $22,000 worth of electrical goods destined for retail stores between last December and January this year.
The summary of facts stated Price would note who the parcels were destined for, leading her to suspect which packages contained computer products.
She would place these packages off to the side, conceal them with clothing and when her shift was finished pick up her clothing with the items inside and take them to her vehicle.
On her way home she would pull over and remove the packaging to discover what the items were before discarding most of the packaging, including packaging slips, on the roadside.
She stole $22,058.09 worth of laptops, tablets and hard drives and last month pleaded guilty to eight charges of theft under $500, six of theft between $500 and $1000 and eight of theft over $1000 in March this year.
She sold or pawned the items to local second-hand dealers, online in garage sales, on Trade Me and to associates or members of the public.
Police, with New Zealand Couriers and companies Synnex and Ceva Logistics found several items in new or used conditions at the defendant's home, and the homes of family members, as well as second-hand dealers and a Trade Me purchaser.
When they spoke to Price she admitted stealing some of the items and claimed she needed to buy drugs for her partner.
This morning her defence lawyer Anthony Willis said his client wasn't working due to childcare issues, but was willing to serve a sentence of community detention.
Judge Tony Adeane was quick to question the woman's employment situation, asking how she intended to pay the pending reparation bill of just under $18,000 if she didn't have a wage.
"The only reason you're not going to jail is because you've made a substantial reparation payment," he said.
Some discussion ensued about delaying the sentencing until she found employment but Willis confirmed she was able to make reparation payments at $60 a week without a job.
At that rate it will take her more than five and a half years to repay the full amount owing.
Judge Adeane said the facts of the case were "as simple as they are serious" and noted the two aggravating factors were the value of the property stolen and the breach of the position of trust from which it was taken.
He noted she had resigned from her employment at New Zealand Couriers, a decision "most unwise" ahead of her sentencing, he said.
He convicted Price and sentenced her to six months of community detention with the added condition to pay reparation at an initial rate of $60 a week.