Serial thief stole alcohol to support her coping mechanism
A WOMAN who stole groceries and candles turned to alcohol after her mother’s cancer diagnosis.
Cassandra Ann Belzer, 49, pleaded guilty on September 29 in Rockhampton Magistrates Court to two counts of stealing.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Shaun Janes said Belzer filled a trolley with groceries, mostly meat, worth $250.90 at Coles at City Centre Plaza on December 22 at 3.15pm and left without attempting to pay.
He said a witness followed her and approached her outside the plaza, grabbed on to the trolley and Belzer grabbed her handbag from the trolley and left.
Sgt Janes said when police spoke with Belzer, she told them she didn’t have any money at the time and needed the food.
He said Belzer took $33 of candles from Northside Plaza Newsagents on July 19 at 10.35am by placing them in her handbag and leaving without paying.
Sgt Janes said Belzer had a four-page criminal record which contained dishonesty offences.
Defence lawyer Grant Cagney said the criminal record started in 2011 and was littered with similar offences.
He said Belzer’s mother was diagnosed with cancer and Belzer became her carer.
“She didn’t handle the diagnosis well,” Mr Cagney said.
He said the mother-of-three turned to alcohol and now has Cirrhosis of the liver.
Mr Cagney said most of the thefts were alcohol to support her habit.
Belzer’s mother has since died.
Belzer was sentenced to three months prison with immediate parole and to pay $33 restitution.