A Rotorua man who was "off his face on methamphetamine" when he went on a two-month shoplifting crime rampage has been jailed for 12 months.
Ralph Hohepa Pereira, 28, appeared in the Rotorua District Court today for sentencing after pleading guilty to 15 counts of dishonesty offences between May 15 and July 19.
He targeted big businesses such as Briscoes, The Warehouse, Mitre 10, Couplands, Countdown and petrol stations stealing homeware, appliances, clothing, food and petrol valued at more than $4500.
His lawyer, Kathy Jackson, told Judge Maree MacKenzie today that her client appeared on security camera footage as if he was laughing. However, she said, the reality was he was so high on methamphetamine, he didn't know what he was doing.
She said Pereira was a significant methamphetamine user and he was stealing to fuel his habit.
She said he was still high on the drug after his arrest and when he met with her for the first time.
The police summary of facts said Pereira went to several businesses, mainly in Rotorua, where he picked up items and walked out of the stores, making no attempts to pay.
The 15 charges include 10 for shoplifting items valued at less than $500, two for theft between $500 and $1000, one for theft of more than $1000, one for shoplifting between $500 and $100 and one for theft of less than $500.
On one occasion on June 26 he went to Briscoes in Rotorua where he took a knife block set and an 11-piece cookware set valued at nearly $600 and walked out of the store.
Later that day he returned to Briscoes and grabbed a stockpot valued at nearly $250. He walked past the checkout, smiled at the staff member and left the shop making no attempt to pay, the summary said.
On July 7, after stealing more than $600 worth of groceries from Countdown Fenton St, he went to Briscoes again and stole two hand vacuum cleaners valued at $400 each and a suitcase valued at $350.
After leaving the store, he was chased by a staff member who managed to grab the suitcase off his ute as he drove away, the summary said.
Other items he stole included petrol and food from four different petrol stations, clothing and footwear from Rebel Sport, hair straighteners from Farmers Rotorua, food from Couplands Bakery, drills from Mitre 10 Mega and duvet covers and bedding from Briscoes.
The total amount he stole came to $4553.18.
Judge MacKenzie said it was clear Pereira was stealing for a purpose.
In jailing him for 12 months, she wiped his fines of about $7000 and cancelled an order for reparation as he had no means to pay the money back.
She told him he was being given a "clean slate" when he would be released but if he continued to use methamphetamine his prison sentences would get longer.