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Man tried to use aluminium foil to steal

A Romanian guest worker was fined this morning after he admitted trying to use a foil-lined bag to shoplift.

Paul Vasiliniuc, 33, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft and one count of having an item intended for use in theft.

The court heard that on August 20, Vasiliniuc was seen on security camera entering Gibbons Company with a Calvin Klein bag. He went to the men’s section, where he placed several packages of underwear in the bag and then walked out of the store, past the cashier without paying.

Security staff chased Vasiliniuc, eventually cornering him. A search of the bag revealed four packages of underwear and two shirts from AS Coopers, which he also admitted stealing that same day.

Officers searching the bag also noted that aluminium-covered cardboard had been placed in the lining of the bag. Questioned, Vasiliniuc said that the foil was supposed to help him get past the security scanners without them going off.

“I was running low on money and a friend back home told me to do this,” he said.

The total value of the stolen underwear was estimated to be $118, while the two shirts had a retail value of $74.50.

After pleading guilty, Vasiliniuc apologised for his actions, saying that he committed the theft because he had lost money betting on football.

“It was stupidity,” he said. “A moment of weakness. Someone gave me the idea and I was curious if it would work.”

Asked by senior magistrate Juan Wolffe if the foil lining had actually worked, Vasiliniuc responded: “Not really.”

While Mr Wolffe said that he would usually order a social inquiry report given the facts of the case, he said he would not do so on this occasion because of the likelihood that Vasiliniuc would have to leave the country because of the conviction.

Noting the defendant’s early guilty plea and genuine remorse, he fined Vasiliniuc $500 for the theft of the underwear, $250 for the stolen shirts and $500 for his use of equipment to assist in the theft.

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