How man stole $76,000 from Kmart
A KMART worker stole at least $76,000 in high-end Lego, mobile phones and other goods and sold them on Gumtree to fuel his gambling habit.
Michael John Mahony pleaded guilty in the Southport District Court to fraud, possessing tainted property and three counts of stealing as a clerk and servant.
Police were unable to tally all the items Mahony stole but had worked out he took at least $76,000 in goods.
He made at least $25,000 from selling them on Gumtree.
Judge Katherine McGinness sentenced Mahony to three-and-a-half years prison to be suspended after he had served six months.
"You were in a position of trust with your employer at the time," she said.
The court was told the 34-year-old had been working at Kmart when the store did a stocktake and noticed a number of Lego items had gone missing.
Kmart started an investigation and in March last year police searched Mahony's home.
Mahony admitted to police that he had been taking items for at least 22 months to sell on classifieds website Gumtree.
"It is impossible to quantify the loss to Kmart - it was in the vicinity of $76,000," Judge McGinness said.
The court was told Mahony admitted to police that he used the money for gambling.
Police also found a security tag remover, 15 security tags which would have been attached to stolen items and a pair of pants with security tags still attached.
Mahony lost his job after the theft was discovered.
He had been working as a support worker until his mental health deteriorated.
Defence barrister Nick McGhee, instructed by Rawlings Criminal Law, said Mahony had a gambling addiction and was now undergoing counselling.
He said Mahony had stopped gambling and was receiving psychological help.
Judge McGinness recommended he be placed on suicide watch while in custody and ordered the psychologist's report be sent to Queensland Corrective Services.
Originally published as How man stole $76,000 from Kmart