A COAST father-of-five tried to finagle hundreds of dollars via a false refund until his cunning plan was undone by a dutiful employee.
Shane Alexander Purtell, 30, and his partner spent almost $650 on a haul of clothes and toys for their children while Christmas shopping at Target late last year.
But, after they'd taken everything to the car Purtell went back into the store with his receipt and filled his trolley with almost the exact same items and tried to leave the store.
A staff member pulled him up and said they couldn't let him take the items until they'd reviewed CCTV footage, so Purtell ran and left the trolley behind.
When Purtell later spoke to police, he told them he intended to take the stolen items and the receipt back later for a refund.
Purtell pleaded guilty yesterday in Maroochydore Magistrates Court to one count of attempted stealing and the court heard the financial stress of raising his children drove him to commit the crime.
Magistrate Ron Madsen noted Purtell's lack of criminal history and sentenced him to a $400, six-month good behaviour bond with no convictions recorded.