A WOMAN who stole 16 bottles of spirits in one incident was among eight people detained by police, who are fed-up with liquor store thefts.
Officers say offenders are simply walking in and walking out with alcohol with little concern at being stopped.
Frustration from local detectives at a group of serial offenders led them to launch an operation in July, which resulted in more than 20 charges being laid over the past few months.
Warwick Senior Sergeant Brad Burnett was pleased with the outcome. ‘We started out to identify who they were and whether they were linked,’ he said.
‘Some of them were hard to get hold of but eventually we caught up with them.
‘It is a good result.’
He said some of the people charged were known to each other, but he did not think the group was organised.
The worst case involved a 27-year-old Padbury woman, who was convicted in Joondalup Magistrates Court of stealing 65 bottles of spirits ” worth more than $3400 ” between April and June.
This included incidents in which she stole 16 bottles from a Padbury Shopping Centre outlet and 14 bottles from a Duncraig store on Warwick Road in one hit.
Her crimes were mostly local, but stretched to Geraldton and Australind. The court sentenced her to 12-months supervision on a 12-month community-based order with 20 hours’ community service.
Among others charged was a 17-year-old Craigie boy convicted by the Perth Children’s Court for stealing five bottles of spirits from an Alexander Heights store.
He also committed an armed robbery at a Beechboro fuel station and in a separate incident, held a female acquaintance at knifepoint and forced her to drive him from Ellenbrook to Perth.
In August, he stole $27,000 of goods during an Innaloo break-in.
He received 19 months detention.
In other cases:
– An arrest warrant has been issued for a Padbury woman (25), accused of theft from a Padbury bottleshop, after she failed to appear in court on September 2;
– A man (37) remains in custody accused of stealing from an Alexander Heights liquor store and threatening a customer with scissors;
– A Coodanup man (32) was expected to face a Padbury stealing charge in Joondalup Magistrates Court this month;
– A Clarkson man (36), charged with fraud and theft, failed to appear in court on September 26.
– A Huntingdale woman (18) was fined $300 for stealing two bottles of liquor in Padbury.