Rocky cleaner cleans out shopper's wallet

HE had been living in Australia for six years and working as a cleaner when he picked up a wallet on the floor of a store at a shopping centre and stole $480 cash.

Rashanthan Rasantharakumar pleaded to one count of stealing in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court on Friday.

Police prosecutor Clancy Fox said at 1.15pm on October 1, Rasantharakumar was working as a cleaner at Allenstown Square when he found a wallet on the ground of a store, picked it up, pocketed the $480 cash and placed the wallet in the cleaners' office of the shopping complex.

He said the victim approached Rasantharakumar and asked him if he had located a wallet, to which the defendant said no.

The victim then gave the defendant his contact details and the defendant rang him after 5pm, telling him he'd found the wallet without the cash inside it.

The court heard the victim gave Rasantharakumar another $50 note for handing him back the wallet as he did not know at the time the cleaner had cleaned out the wallet.

CCTV footage later revealed Rasantharakumar as the thief.

The court heard he told police during an interview that he had "gotten excited" when he saw that amount of money and he used it to pay rent and other living expenses.

Defence lawyer Brian McGowran said Rasantharakumar now works at a Rockhampton meatworks and offered to pay the victim, who was in court, the full amount he took - $530 - then and there.

Magistrate Mark Morrow told the defendant to go get the money from the bank and pay the victim right in front of him.

He then ordered Rasantharakumar to pay a $500 fine with no conviction recorded.

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