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Brazen serial thief targets Warwick businesses

A WARWICK man convicted of a string of drug offences and thefts from local businesses has narrowly avoided a stint in jail.

On November 7, 2019 at about 2.45am, police officers caught Raymond George Alldridge carrying two buds of marijuana in his bag while walking through Toowoomba’s industrial estate.

The 45-year-old told the officers he was unaware he had the drugs, because if he’d known he “would have smoked it”.

Police prosecutor Ken Wiggan told the court that two months later, Alldridge stuffed a flatscreen TV from the Warwick Post Office into his bag and left making “no attempt to pay for it”.

However, the man soon “panicked” about the theft, and only an hour later drove while unlicensed to put the TV back on the shelf.

On May 4, the 45-year-old went through a checkout at Spano’s IGA in Warwick to pay for milk and bread, but stole a number of extra items by stuffing them in his pockets.

The court heard this was Alldridge’s “most serious” crime, as he was serving a suspended three-month jail sentence at the time.

Defence lawyer Peter Sloane said his client was unemployed and “couldn’t afford groceries”, a situation exacerbated by the drug addiction he’d suffered since he was nine years old.

While Magistrate Julian Noud said Alldridge’s actions were “denounced by the community”, he added the 45-year-old’s lengthy criminal record and drug addiction emphasised the need for rehabilitation.

Alldridge pleaded guilty to one count each of stealing, stealing after a previous conviction, possessing dangerous drugs, contravening a police direction, and driving without a licence.

He was sentenced to one month’s jail with immediate parole, and fined $200 for the driving offence.

All of his convictions were recorded.



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