Melbourne thief caught nicking boots from front porches

An Australian man has been fined after stockpiling stolen boots and shoes he nicked from victims' front porches.

Andrew Muster, 44, was caught on CCTV, 7 News reports. He amassed a stockpile of shoes worth AU$7000 inside his bedroom and garage in Melbourne.

Muster was diagnosed a kleptomaniac, a disorder that causes an irresistible urge to steal items that aren't required and are usually of little value. Some of the shoes he stole still had the victim's socks inside. 

Muster targeted Melbourne's northern suburbs, stealing 2400 pairs of shoes from front porches in the dead of night. He stole roughly one pair of shoes per day, and went barefoot during the thefts so he wouldn't be heard.

Muster targeted Melbourne’s northern suburbs, stealing 2400 pairs of shoes from front porches.
Muster targeted Melbourne’s northern suburbs, stealing 2400 pairs of shoes from front porches. Photo credit: 7 News

The 44-year-old said there was no real reason for the thefts other than that he had "liked shoes for a long time". 

The cause of kleptomania is unknown, but risk factors include a family history of kleptomania or other impulse control disorders. No cure exists, but treatment with talk therapy and medication such as antidepressants can help. 

Muster is already seeing a psychiatrist and was given a 12-month good behaviour bond, 7 News reports. 

The magistrate conceded that his was more of a mental health issue than a criminal case.

He was fined AU$4000 (NZ$4293).

Newshub.