Kiwi thief 'halfway across the Tasman' avoids deportation

NZ court
The magistrate told Ms Vlaanderen she was "already halfway across the Tasman". Photo credit: Getty

A New Zealander who stole thousands of dollars' worth of jewellery from the shop she worked at in Queensland has narrowly avoided deportation.

Grace Vlaanderen, 19, was suffering "depression issues" and struggling to pay her bills, her lawyer told the Maroochydore Magistrates Court, reports the Daily Mail Australia.

She took rings and bracelets worth more than $6400 and arranged for her sister - who didn't know they were stolen - to sell the items on Facebook.

When the store noticed the same items were missing from its stock, police were notified and they were found at Ms Vlaanderen's home.

The magistrate told Ms Vlaanderen she was "already halfway across the Tasman" before sentencing her to 15 months' probation, without conviction.

Ms Vlaanderen moved from Ohaupo to Australia in 2013. She's now reportedly working as a waitress.

Newshub.