A Gatton man swiped a wallet left behind at a self-serve checkout at Coles.
A Gatton man swiped a wallet left behind at a self-serve checkout at Coles.

Wallet-swiper steals from pensioner at Gatton checkout

WHEN flat out denying it didn’t work, a Gatton man who stole a wallet fessed up but said he had “looked for the owner” first.

CCTV showed Matthew Charles Charter, 60, pocketing a lost wallet at Coles, Gatton, after its owner left it behind by mistake.

Police prosecutor Rohan Brewster-Webb told Gatton Magistrates Court a 68-year-old pensioner had withdrawn $500 cash from an ATM on June 1, 2019.

“He’s made several purchases before attending the Coles in Gatton,” Mr Brewster-Webb said.

The court heard the pensioner paid for his groceries at the self-serve check out but walked away, leaving his wallet behind.

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“At that time, the wallet contained approximately $360 – $370, as well as personal cards and papers,” Mr Brewster-Webb said.

About 10.07am, Charter noticed the wallet on the register and picked it up “concealing it in his jumper pocket”.

“He made no attempt to look for the owner who was standing a few metres away,” Mr Brewster-Webb said.

“At no time did he try to clarify with Coles staff about it.”

When police turned up at Charter’s house, they were met with denial.

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“He initially denied any knowledge of the matter but then admitted finding a wallet at Coles,” Mr Brewster-Webb said.

“He claimed he looked around for the owner prior to putting it in his pocket – he also said he put it on a shelf below a register prior to leaving the store.”

Charter declined a formal interview with police.

Mr Brewster-Webb told the court he sought only $180 in restitution as another party may have been involved.

“CCTV footage shows a second party involved,” Mr Brewster-Webb said.

Charter pleaded guilty to stealing.

He was fined $250 and ordered to pay $180 restitution.

No conviction was recorded.

Read more news by Ebony Graveur.


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