Thief angry that police did not allow him to eat stolen food

AN IPSWICH shoplifter has criticised police for not allowing him to eat the food he stole.

Anthony Kevin Berlin appeared at Ipswich Magistrates Court, charged with stealing groceries from a local Woolworths.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Megan O'Brien said Berlin had stolen cheese and deli meat - valued at $31.16 - on August 15.

Snr Const O'Brien said the 33-year-old attempted to loot the items by concealing them down the front of his pants.

Security officers approached Berlin as he left with the unpaid food but were unable to detain him. He was later found by police, where he admitted to the crime and was forced to return the goods.

Snr Const O'Brien said Woolworths was seeking restitution for the stolen items, since they were unable to be resold. But Berlin said he should not have to pay anything because the police didn't let him eat the food he took.

He told the court he was unemployed and had committed the crime out of desperation.

"I stole the food because I was starving and didn't have any money to buy the items," he said.

"Surely the stolen goods could have been recorded as evidence somehow then returned to me to eat.

"I asked the police if I could eat the food since it couldn't be resold... instead they threw it in the bin."

Berlin said he felt as though it was he who had been robbed since he was paying for stolen food he did not get to enjoy.

He pleaded guilty on Wednesday and was fined $100 and ordered to pay the $31.16.



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