A Taranaki man used the barcode from a 98 cent sale book to make repeated purchases at the self-checkout facility of a major chain store, in a scam which netted him $1600 worth of stuff.
During the month of October, Jed Barriball visited The Warehouse stores in Bell Block and New Plymouth six times, where he successfully used the bargain-basement barcode to buy items of a much higher value.
The New Plymouth District Court heard how his most audacious purchase, all of which were made using the self-checkout facility, involved two big screen televisions, worth $449 each.
Police prosecutor John Simes said during two, separate visits to the Courtenay St store in New Plymouth on October 12, Barriball used the 98c barcode to buy the pricey items, before walking out the door.
Two days earlier, on October 10, Barriball used a barcode linked to $1.98 sale item to buy goods worth $290 from the same store.
The six-time scam saw the beneficiary buy goods worth about $1600, while only forking out $22 from his own pocket.
Along with the televisions, Barriball bought bluetooth speakers, two circular saws, a duvet inner, and boxes of chocolates.
Simes said when the defendant was spoken to by police about the offending, he said he had been having “relationship issues” at the time.
On Wednesday, Barriball appeared in court, where he pleaded guilty to six charges of obtains by deception.
Community magistrate Lesley Jensen said while Barriball did have a history of offending, he had no previous convictions for shoplifting.
“It’s a shame you have been on an absolute spree at The Warehouse in Bell Block and New Plymouth.”
She convicted him of the charges and ordered him to complete 100 hours of community work.
Barriball will also have to pay $1608 in reparation, at $20 per week.
Defence lawyer Samantha Hunt asked if Barriball’s outstanding fines could be remitted in lieu of additional community work, which was granted by Jensen.
He will have to do 100 extra hours as a result.