Pink handbag snatcher was wearing prison ankle bracelet

A THIEF who hot footed it after grabbing two pink handbags with an angry saleswoman in pursuit is back in jail, after facing court this week.

Exactly why Rhyce Jones wanted two pink handbags is anyone's guess, with his motives not revealed when he was sentenced in Ipswich Magistrates Court.

Jones was wearing an electronic monitoring device on his ankle at the time of the offence, which was the result of an earlier conviction for dangerous driving.

Rhyce Maxwell Jones, 34, from North Booval, pleaded guilty to stealing at Booval Fair shopping centre on Tuesday, February 11; and committing public nuisance.

He appeared in court via video link.

Prosecutor Acting Sergeant Bernard Elmore said the incidents occurred at 2.20pm when Jones took the two pink Guess brand handbags off a display table at the Strandbags store.

A saleswoman saw the theft and went after him with Jones telling her to "get the f**k out of my way".

A shopper apparently saw the theft and began yelling at him to stop.

There was a confrontation and Jones dropped the handbags and ran off.

When police arrived on the scene witnesses described the offender as being a man aged in his 40s, wearing an ankle tag.

Witnesses also described his distinctive tattoo.

When police arrested Jones at his house six days later, Sgt Elmore said he became belligerent claiming: "I didn't steal anything. I gave it back".

"His history is quite shocking for stealing offences," Sgt Elmore said.

Police sought a jail term of nine to 12 months because of his ongoing criminal history, to be added to an existing sentence which ends in September 2021.

Sgt Elmore said Jones received a six-year jail term in 2014 for a serious dangerous driving offence and was subject to parole when he reoffended by stealing.

"The ankle bracelet fitted should have been a constant reminder to him that he does not pass go but goes straight back into jail," he said.

Defence lawyer Christy Louden said drugs had been a constant in Jones's life.

She said he was stressed at the time after a woman told him she was pregnant with his child.

"He was not in a good head space then this happened," Ms Louden said.

Magistrate David Shepherd asked about the value of the pink bags but police were unable to provide a figure.

Jones interjected saying: "It would have been about $400."

"I have a drug problem your honour," he said to the magistrate.

"In the past I used drugs and stole every day. This time I lasted 10 weeks and stole once."

Mr Shepherd said stealing when wearing an ankle bracelet monitor could only be described as extraordinary.

This was Jones's third cancellation of parole.

Jones was convicted and sentenced to six months jail, which was added to his existing sentence.

He can began to apply for parole on May 26.

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