Donated TV stolen

A MAN who stole a television from a charity store’s donation bin was caught after being spotted by a Safe City camera operator.

Joseph Alan Ellis took the LG television, which had been left next to a charity shop’s donation bin on Brisbane St on February 6, loaded it into a shopping trolley, and began walking away.

But an observant Safe City operator spied Ellis and called police about 8.25pm.

Police arrived to find Ellis, 24, a short distance away on Waghorn St with the television and a remote control.

Ipswich Magistrates Court heard Ellis was arrested but declined to take part in a formal record of interview.

He was taken to Ipswich police station where he admitted trying to steal the donated television was “a silly thing to do”.

The television was returned to the unnamed charity in its original condition and no restitution was sought.

Ellis, who had no prior convictions for dishonesty, pleaded guilty to stealing.

He was fined $250.

A conviction was recorded in the matter.

Defence lawyer Shay Duce said the television was on the ground behind the donation bin when Ellis found it.

“He didn’t know if it worked or not,” Ms Duce said.

“He has conceded it was a very silly thing to do.”

Ms Duce said Ellis was on a Youth Start allowance and was looking for work.

Magistrate Virginia Sturgess told Ellis donations left outside the bins were still considered property of the charity.

“I’m sure you know that these items are left there at St Vincent de Paul or at other charities so that they can sell them and make money for the charity,” Ms Sturgess said.

“They are not there for people to just take.

“Just because somebody else doesn’t want to take it, doesn’t mean it’s there to take.”

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