Grafton woman spared jail over stolen credit card spree

A GRAFTON woman who went on a 10-day gift card purchasing spree using stolen credit cards has been spared jail time.

Miranda Crisp appeared in Grafton Local Court yesterday, having pleaded guilty to 20 counts of theft and fraud related charges including larceny, shoplifting, dishonestly obtain property by deception and deal with property suspected to be the proceeds of crime.

According to the police facts, she and a co-accused were involved in the theft of five wallets from women in Bondi Junction and Randwick shopping centres, from November 20-30.

One was stolen from the bag of a sales attendant behind a store counter, and another was taken from a woman's pram as she chased after her child who had run away.

The credit cards from each of the wallets were then used to pay for a variety of gift cards from stores including Platypus shoes, JB Hi-Fi, Coles and Woolworths.

Each time the Paypass function was used, which negated the need for a PIN.

Police said she also stole two Lego sets from Target worth $109 each.

A number of the offences were caught on CCTV footage, and the pair were arrested in a Dick Smith store on November 30.

In court, it was noted Crisp had a significant history of drug use and wanted to be rehabilitated.

The defence solicitor said she had completed the MERIT (Magistrates Early Referral Into Treatment) program, despite a returning positive urine test to an unidentified substance at the end of the program.

The court also heard she was waiting for a spot in a private rehab facility, which she planned to attend with her partner.

Magistrate J Linden noted that her previous drug convictions may be indicative of the motives behind the offence.

"(Paypass) is a juicy apple for them, as you don't need a PIN and can keep going until the card is reported stolen," he said.

As the details of the case were read out, Crisp was fidgeting and visibly shaking.

She was convicted and sentenced to a 15-month term of imprisonment, wholly suspended. She was also ordered to pay victims' compensation to the amount of $3135 within 28 days.

As she walked out of court, a member of the public in the gallery remarked loudly, "It's your lucky day."

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