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Sentence deferred for cigarette thief

A man was remanded in custody yesterday after he admitted the theft of more than $3,000 worth of cigarettes and other goods from a takeaway restaurant.

Magistrates’ Court heard that Gilles Cailliere, the part owner of Wok Express, got a call from his business partner about a potential break-in at their Warwick shop.

The two found that a window had been broken and that the door, which had been locked, was open.

Mr Cailliere checked the business’s CCTV footage, which captured Ernest Smith, 44, walking around the restaurant’s car park and the sound of the restaurant window being shattered.

It was also discovered that 26 cartons of cigarettes, nine packets of cigarettes 37 lighters and six beers were missing.

Mr Cailliere reported the break-in to police and an investigation was launched.

Smith later turned himself into police and told officers: “I broke into the Wok, I am guilty … I need help for my drug addiction”.

He admitted he had stolen cigarettes, lighters and alcohol, but denied that he had taken the amount of merchandise claimed to be missing.

Smith added that he was intoxicated at the time and that he broke into the restaurant to raise money to fund his drug habit.

The incident happened between September 13 and 14.

The court heard that the broken window cost $483 to replace.

A blender, with a replacement cost of $90, was also damaged.

Smith, from Southampton, admitted theft and asked for help to tackle his drug problems.

Senior magistrate Juan Wolffe adjourned the case until October 22 and remanded Smith in custody.

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