Dunedin mum's 'brazen' plan to shoplift with children

Cost of crime to retail sector
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A Dunedin mother has been criticised for using her two children during a shoplifting incident. 

The Otago Daily Times reports Kirsty-Lee Tobin, 38, had been trespassed from The Warehouse when she went to the Maclaggan St store on June 30.

She filled a trolley with a 125cm television, duvet set, a toaster and a Nerf gun while the children each grabbed a basketball.

While her partner distracted the staff she left the store with $1700 worth of goods that the police were unable to recover.

Four days earlier she had attempted a similar scheme to steal $497 worth of groceries at Pak'nSave in south Dunedin. 

Judge Michael Crosbie called her plan to shoplift household items with her two children and partner "quite brazen". He said he was "unimpressed" by Tobin's decision to involve minors in the enterprise.

When Tobin said the children were unaware what they were taking part, Judge Crosbie replied: "It's time for you to start thinking about them rather than thinking about yourself."

She pleaded guilty to both incidents at the Dunedin District Court on Friday. 

Counsel Steve Turner told the court his client did not have a pattern of dishonesty offending on her earlier criminal record. He suggested her criminal behaviour was due to the influence of her partner. 

Sergeant Chris George said the man was known to police. He also pleaded guilty and will be sentenced next month. 

Judge Crosbie noted Tobin had been suffering mental health issues at the time and had improved after taking medication.

Tobin was sentenced to three months' community detention, nine months' supervision and ordered to pay $849 reparation.