Seasoned thief has a $30K SPER debt
FROM swapping barcodes between items to removing tags in dressing rooms, James Samuel Baumgart is a seasoned thief who alters his shoplifting techniques from store to store.
However his varying approach to stealing has not been enough to outsmart police, and he has landed behind bars - again.
The 33-year-old fronted Maryborough Magistrates Court on Monday, where he pleaded guilty to five counts of stealing, two counts of attempted fraud, one count of fraud and one count of trespassing.
With an outstanding SPER debt of more than $30,000 and with a 16-page criminal history to his name, it's a situation the Maryborough man has found himself in many times before.
He appeared comfortable and relaxed in the dock, making conversation with a prisoner sitting next to him and chuckling every now and again.
At one point, appearing bored, Baumgart began to play with his handcuffs by circling his arms at the elbows.
The court heard his latest crime spree, which started in March, began less than a month after he was released on parole from jail for previous offences.
The court heard Baumgart, with another person, made sinister visits to to several stores in different towns between March and May this year.
The shops he targeted included a ski gear business, Big W, JB Hi-Fi, and Telstra.
In total the stolen items had a combined total of more than $1700.
Baumgart was taken into custody on May 18. Police Prosecutor Michael Quirk said there was "no doubt" that Baumgart's motivation in committing the crimes was to to resell the items.
Defence lawyer Travis George said Baumgart suffered from PTSD, which he developed from serving time in detention.
Baumgart was sentenced to 15-months in jail. He will be eligible for parole on December 23.
His brother, whose phone loudly rang three times during court proceedings, was there in Baumgart's support.
Baumgart was ordered to pay restitution, which was added to his growing SPER debt.